“I am a deceiver and a liar.”

I don’t often write about things of faith and religion outside of my own personal journey. I am a Believer in Christ, so everything I do and say and believe and struggle with is filtered through this lens – though I try, very intentionally, to keep it as MY lens and not something I attempt to preach.

I hope I have been successful in this.

So in the wake of the Ted Haggard scandal in Colorado Springs, I find it interesting that I feel compelled to comment, adding my thoughts to the pages of Technorati threads.

I have to admit I have followed this scandal only loosely. In fact, were it not for Bryan mentioning it to me, I’m not sure it would have blipped on my radar. But this situation with Haggard fits into the vein of much of what I have been thinking about in regards to my own sin and redemption, because my first reaction was to judge, and say, “This man got what he deserved.”

But through Recovery, I have come to recognize the frailty of my own humanness, that Ted Haggard and I are equal in our sin nature, that I am capable of making choices that hurt others and sin against God. I have come to realize that I, too, am a deceiver and a liar.

I remember one day during the summer, with my windows open wide to let in the breeze, I heard my neighbors in the house next door. The baby was crying. The baby always cried. All afternoon and all evening the baby cried. I always pictured that the baby was left sitting in the corner, alone, to cry, because the baby never stopped crying. It never occurred to me that maybe the baby had colic, or acid reflux, or was just cranky and there was a desperate mother who didn’t know what to do. I always assumed the baby was being neglected. That was judgment number one.

On this particular day in the summer, I heard a man barking at the baby to shut up. Stop crying, he ordered. His tone was filled with impatience and frustration, and as I listened through my kitchen windows I crossed my eyebrows at the curtains flitting in the wind. How dare he talk to a child like that, I thought. And as the thought sparked through the wires of my brain, I felt ashamed. That was judgment number two.

For at the time I was in the midst of my own battle with anger and self-control, and had on many occasions spoken unkindly to my children. I was pointing out the speck in my neighbor’s eye while ignoring the log in my own.

None of this is to excuse my behavior, or my neighbor’s behavior, or Ted Haggard’s behavior, or Andrea Yates’ behavior. When we lie, cheat, steal, kill, and destroy there are natural consequences for our actions. But in the last year I have been humbled by my own imperfection, and have found myself more easily understanding The Fallen. Some fall farther than others, and harder, and with less grace. Some repent and change. Others continue deceiving.

The point is, everyone falls.

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