I was reading this article this morning, and the full text of the letter Ted Haggard wrote to his congregation in the wake of his recent scandal. (I know I don't usually talk about such serious things on this blog, but after reading the letter, I think it's helpful and important for any of us who are wondering "What on earth happened?" to read Haggard's comments in their entirety. Not because of what it reveals about him, but because of what it reveals about us. His experience of shame, disgrace, and deception strikes me as a profound example of what can happen any to us when we get separated from each other - and from God. Whenever I start prettying up my image in the hopes that you'll think I have it all together, chances are I'm headed into a dark place. I think the take-home lesson from this chapter of Haggard's story is, at the very least, Stay out of the dark, kids. And don't wander through life alone.)
So anyway, I'm reading the letter, and I notice - as you may have - an ad on the righthand side featuring a pair of tighty-whities hanging from a clothesline. The ad is sponsored by a builder in Colorado Springs, I realized, with this super-special tag line to entice you to build yourself a brand new house: "Buying a resale home is like...wearing someone else's underwear!"
I did not need that particular bit of imagery this morning, thank you very much. Now the reason this caught my eye is that I used to work for a new home builder. And I confess, I planted my share of doubt-filled seeds with customers considering one of those used homes: I may even have mentioned things like leftover toenails in the carpet, or asked, "Don't you wonder how many butts have been in that tub???" Not a proud time for me, clearly. But I take some solace in the fact that I never - even in months where I was danger of not making quota - compared a house to underwear. I don't have to see the numbers on that ad to guess that folks aren't flocking to that community!