There are little white lies, and great big bold-faced lies.  Somewhere in the middle is the kind of lie that Tricia got caught up in.  It started out with good intentions. Tricia and Dick were in New York, on the second Sunday of May, which happened to be Mother’s Day. They scheduled their return flight for the afternoon, so they could go to their favorite deli for brunch and still be home in time to take Dick’s mom out for dinner.

The plan all along was to bring mom back some hot pastrami and knishes. The special treat would also be her Mother’s Day gift. Tricia and Dick were very satisfied with their gift-giving creativity. Unfortunately Mom wasn’t.

“You brought me leftovers?” She didn’t mean to be ungrateful but mom couldn’t help herself. Dick tried to explain the gift wasn’t a doggie bag. His mom wasn’t buying it.

Flashback to the Oscar winning movie: Crash. Two young black men are walking down an affluent suburban street. They’re met with suspicion and fear by a white woman. One man rants about the unfairness of stereotype. He’s angry that just because he’s in a white neighborhood it’s presumed he’s up to no good. His companion reminds him that they are indeed in the neighborhood because they’re going to rob someone. He answers, “You could be right.” Sometimes you just can’t separate intentions from the point itself.

Tricia and Dick had enjoyed their deli meal, but their eyes were bigger than their stomachs. They were left with probably a half-pound of meat on their plates. Tricia carefully separated the exterior mustard covered pastrami from the center slices. She instructed the waiter to add it to her mom bound carry-out order of knishes and pastrami. She supposed she would have been in the clear except that the waiter included one lone pickle spear. That was what did her in. Dick’s mom was correct, there was a little bit of doggie in the gift.

When you’re used to having a strong code of ethics and values guide your life, it doesn’t feel good to get caught in a lie. Yet there’s spiritual growth in even a small challenge like a perceptive mother-in-law who calls you out. Stay honest, be humble, and think twice the next time you give a gift that’s perishable!


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