"A few months before I was born, my dad met a stranger who was new to our small Tennessee town. From the beginning, Dad was fascinated with this enchanting newcomer, and soon invited him to live with our family. The stranger was quickly accepted and was around to welcome me into the world a few months later.
As I grew up I never questioned his place in our family. In my young mind, each member had a special niche. My brother, Bill, five years my senior, was my example. Fran, my younger sister, gave me an opportunity to play 'big brother' and develop the art of teasing. My parents were complementary instructors -- Mom taught me to love the word of God, and Dad taught me to obey it.
But the stranger was our storyteller. He could weave the most fascinating tales. Adventures, mysteries and comedies were daily conversations. He could hold our whole family spell-bound for hours each evening.
If I wanted to know about politics, history, or science, he knew it all. He knew about the past, understood the present, and seemingly could predict the future. The pictures he could draw were so life like that I would often laugh or cry as I watched.
He was like a friend to the whole family. He took Dad, Bill and me to our first major league baseball game. He was always encouraging us to see the movies and he even made arrangements to introduce us to several movie stars. My brother and I were deeply impressed by John Wayne in particular.
The stranger was an incessant talker. Dad didn't seem to mind, but sometimes Mom would quietly get up -- while the rest of us were enthralled with one of his stories of faraway places -- go to her room, read her Bible and pray. I wonder now if she ever prayed that the stranger would leave.
You see, my dad ruled our household with certain moral convictions. But this stranger never felt obligation to honor them. Profanity, for example, was not allowed in our house -- not from us, from our friends, or adults. Our longtime visitor, however, used occasional four letter words that burned my ears and made Dad squirm. To my knowledge the stranger was never confronted. My dad was a teetotaler who didn't permit alcohol in his home - not even for cooking. But the stranger felt like we needed exposure and enlightened us to other ways of life. He offered us beer and other alcoholic beverages often.
He made cigarettes look tasty, cigars manly, and pipes distinguished. He talked freely (probably too much too freely) about sex. His comments were sometimes blatant, sometimes suggestive, and generally embarrassing. I know now that my early concepts of the man-woman relationship were influenced by the stranger.
As I look back, I believe it was the grace of God that the stranger did not influence us more. Time after time he opposed the values of my parents. Yet he was seldom rebuked and never asked to leave.
More than thirty years have passed since the stranger moved in with the young family on Morningside Drive. He is not nearly so intriguing to my Dad as he was in those early years. But if I were to walk into my parents' den today, you would still see him sitting over in a corner, waiting for someone to listen to him talk and watch him draw his pictures.
His name? We always just call him TV."
(Told by K. Currie)
Numbers 33:51 - Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, When ye are passed over Jordan into the land of Canaan: 52 Then ye shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their pictures, and destroy all their molten images, and quite pluck down all their high places.
Psalm 101 - I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. 3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me . . . I will not know a wicked person . . . Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight. 8 I will early destroy all the wicked of the land. . .
Isaiah 2:12 - For the day of the LORD of hosts shall be upon every one that is proud and lofty, and upon every one that is lifted up; and he shall be brought low . . . 16 And upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all pleasant pictures.
THE ONE-EYED IDOL
You have an idol in your home?
With one great glaring eye?
He occupies the foremost place
And I will tell you why.
We sacrifice to him our time
Because he'll entertain.
And to our bulging eyes display
All life's sorry train.
Vice and crime, and viciousness
Horror, shame and sin -
(We've wasted many precious hours
Since we have let him in).
But now? He dominates our home
For GOD? We have no time
Our eyes are dimmed by "Gunsmoke"
Our minds are filled with crime.
"I bring into your living room
Bartender, harlot, thief
And from the slick commercials
I give you no relief.
"I brainwash children, and prepare
Their minds by what they hear;
I make attractive - violence,
Sin, cigarettes and beer."
You speak of your delinquents?
And deplore their vicious deeds?
But I continue merrily
To sow the carnal seeds.
The cheating wife, or husband,
Is the accepted thing;
We're living in a "modern" world
Go to it! Have your fling!
Away! with outworn "standards,"
our day is modernized;
Such things as right or wrong
For sin is glamorized.
I set the word's criteria!
I am the household god!
(If you protest against me,
You're a puritanic clod!).
I'm the one that rules your home!
From God I turn your heart!
I fill your mind with banal trash
By foul, hypnotic art.
Once family altars occupied
The place where now we see
The glaring eye of Cyclops,
For lo he's called "T.V."
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