With Hubby away on a trip most of the week, I was reminded of an event from about 16 summers ago. I’ve been told that lying is never justified, yet I’ve also been told it was the smart thing to do in this one particular circumstance. See what you think.
We lived in a rather secluded spot out in the country, our nearest neighbour a mile away. It was 10:30 at night and Hubby, a long haul trucker at the time, was hundreds of miles from home. I was in my nightgown, puttering around in the kitchen when I heard the dog barking and saw a vehicle outside. Our oldest son was in the shower, the younger two had gone to bed.
Watching out the boys’ bedroom window, I saw the car leave our yard, only to head down an old dead-end trail. Soon it was back, but instead of turning onto our driveway and continuing out toward the road, it pulled back into our yard, whipped around to face the house, and stopped with its headlights shining into our living room window. It appeared to me that the two guys inside were too drunk or stoned to find their way back to the road.
I hoped our dog would intimidate them into staying inside the car, but they must have sensed she was a pushover whose most threatening maneuver might be thumping them with her wagging tail. I saw someone climb out the driver’s side and heard him swearing to his passenger.
I decided to take the bull by the horns. Breathing a prayer for help, I opened the front door and spoke to him through the screen.
The first words out of his mouth were, “Where’s your old man tonight?”
“Sleeping,” I said.
Inside my head, I reasoned that it was slightly possible my husband actually was sleeping. Somewhere. Without stepping out of the house, I tried to explain to the stranger how to get back out to the road, then I closed the door and prayed they’d leave. They did eventually go, and, although feeling somewhat unsettled, we were none the worse for wear.
My daughter came out of her room and said, “Good for you, Mom, for saying Dad was sleeping.”
Oh sure, I thought. Way to go. Teach your kid to lie. Teach your kid to rely on deception instead of trusting in God. Yet everyone with whom I shared the story told me “fibbing” about my husband’s whereabouts was not only justifiable, but wise. Hmm. Maybe they’re right, and maybe not. I’m not sure. Although in the world’s eyes, I used “street smarts,” I can’t help wondering what I was really saying about where I place my confidence.
Having asked for God’s help, perhaps it’s best to conclude that His help came in the form of a quick, confident answer on my lips, preventing trouble. In any case, taking a look at our level of faith and considering the motives behind our actions is a valuable exercise. Sure, one can analyze things to death, but it’s generally productive to evaluate, to struggle with the deeper questions.
What do you think?