Okay, so here’s how the story goes. While I was in Turkey we stayed at this fantastic resort. One morning Karen and I went to the gym to work out, so I took off my two rings because soft metal rings and heavy weights don’t mix. You’ll scratch them or bend them. I put both rings in my shaving kit, which I left open on the bathroom counter.
While we were out, someone cleaned our room. When I came back, my cheap silver ring was still there, but my gold wedding band was not.
I assumed the best of people (i.e. that it was not stolen) and that I had somehow misplaced it. We scoured the luggage and the room all week. But we never found it.
Bottom line…I think my wedding ring was stolen.
So I got back to Edmonton late Monday night and suffered through a few days of jet-lag plus work. Then I had to preach that weekend. It went well, and I felt God had done a good thing through me.
Then this week I got a letter on my desk. It was mailed and addressed to me. As soon as I saw the envelope, I knew it was suspect. This wasn’t the first time that I had gotten a truth bomb from afar. I had two reasons to be suspicious. First, there was no return address on the envelope. Second, it was hand-written with a very shaky script. My Sherlock-Holmes-like instincts told me that this was going to be some sort of a reprimand from a dear old lady who attends our church.
I said to my assistant, “Think I should open it? I bet you anything that this is not going to be good, that someone is upset about something.” I wracked my brain to try and remember what I might have said during the weekend message that would have rubbed somebody the wrong way. I couldn’t think of anything…unless they were someone really sold out to prosperity gospel theology.
A few thoughts raced through my mind:
1. Was the message so boring that she was distracted by my absent wedding ring the whole time?
2. Am I really so unapproachable that you can’t ask my why I’m not wearing my wedding ring?
3. She’s got really nice handwriting.
I was offended for about one minute (well, maybe two). Then I put the note through the shredder.
This wasn’t the first time I’ve received a truth bomb in the mail and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Here are some of the things I’ve concluded from this experience.
First, no matter who sends you a note or what motivates it, the first thing you should do is ask a couple of questions: “Is there any truth in what this person is saying? Is there anything I can learn from this?” Because even if it’s coming from a dark place, it might be an accurate assessment. I asked these questions and concluded that the note was a tad misguided.
Third, you gotta be careful not to judge others (Matthew 7:1). We just don’t know why a guy isn’t wearing his wedding ring. I think someone really smart said something about walking around in another guy’s moccasins.
Finally, don’t leave your wedding ring lying around in your hotel room.