Can you recall your top three most shameful moments? We all can. Everyone
at some point in their lives has done things they later came to regret,
committed acts that hurt themselves or others. Weíd like to take those
moments and stuff them into a dark closet with our hockey sticks and
severed genitalia and never have to remember them again. But you know
what? The Lord doesnít want us to do that. He wants us to learn from
Many people look at me and say, "Rev. John, you are a reverend - one
of Godís perfect agents. There canít be anything youíve done that youíre
ashamed of." Oh, if only that were true my friends. Youíll be surprised
to know that even someone who appears to be as noble and prestigious
as myself has done some pretty low down things. But I did learn from
these embarrassing moments of my past. And thatís why Iíd like to share
some of them with you.
One experience that will always haunt me was the first time I went
on trial for molesting Todd Rutherspoon, a local teenager. For weeks
up until my testimony in court Iíd been telling all of my parishioners
that Todd Rutherspoon was a troubled boy who had probably gotten involved
with heavy metal music and satanic religions. I was also accusing his
mother of exercising absolutely no discipline on her child and being
a sinful whore. Needless to say, I looked pretty foolish when I arrived
in court and discovered that Todd had actually captured some of our
final clandestine moments on videotape. How was I supposed to deny having
any idea what a nipple clamp was when there I was on the video screen
with one affixed to my chest?
I made a point to learn from the experience, however, and I had plenty
of time to think about it during my eight year incarceration. If I was
to pass any knowledge on to other individuals who are abusing their
authority and having a sexual relationship with a 13 year old it would
be this - "Keep an eye our for a camera!" The fetish toys and crucifix
youíve so innocently incorporated into your sex play may actually hide
something far more sinister.
Another shameful moment I learned from was the time I was caught stuffing
the entirety of the collections made during morning mass into my pockets.
I was back in my office, gladly counting out the roll of one dollar
bills I needed to use to pay off my gambling debts and in walks Mrs.
Nikeman from the third pew. Youíd think I wouldíve at least had the
good sense to shut the door! I felt pretty silly trying to get Mrs.
Nikeman to believe I was actually emptying my wallet into the collection
bowl as opposed to the truth. And it was a very shameful feeling to
see the look in her eyes, as I, her bastion of Godís holy word, was
revealed to be nothing more than a lying, cheating thief.
But I didnít walk away empty handed from the experience. These days
I often wait several days before taking my flockís offerings, and even
then, I do it in the middle of the night when no-one can barge in on
me. (We certainly donít need anymore Mrs. Nikemans - God rest her soul.)
Iíve also learned to invest my money into real estate as opposed to
spending it on flashy Cadillacs and expensive feather boas that can
A final embarrassing experience was the time I tried to sell Godís
forgiveness to someone who turned out to be an undercover detective
working for the Vatican. He seemed quite interested when I told him
that I could use my connection with God to allow him to practice homosexuality
and continue working for the IRS while still getting into Heaven, but
his mood turned sour when he snapped the cuffs on me and hustled me
into the car. Then I only made matters worse by having him turn down
my offer of providing him oral sex in exchange for releasing me. Turned
out he was a family man whoíd been married for 17 years. I was so humiliated.
Iím not sure I really learned anything from that shameful moment,
but you should certainly try to ensure that it doesnít happen to you!
If youíd like to learn more about how God wants you to learn from your
shameful moments, read the bible. Many of the men and women in both
the old and new testament had to experience some pretty dark moments
before they were granted Godís holy knowledge. I canít recall specific
sections or passages, but trust me, theyíre in there.