Saturday, September 24, 2011

Lutheran Guilt

Pastor Karl got mugged a couple of months ago. As he was picking up trash around the church, a transient walked across the grounds. Pastor gave him an innocuous greeting, and, when the man didn't respond, repeated himself. So man beat him up and stole his wallet. As Pastor Karl explained to Fiorella, it was his own fault. He shouldn't have tried to communicate with the man after he didn't acknowledge his first greeting.

Fiorella disagrees. What Pastor Karl did was give the man a second chance, which is a behavior pattern she admires--that he gives people second chances, and thirds, and fourths, and forevers.

But Fiorella understands his guilt. After all, she took personal responsibility for her purse being stolen in HEB. However, on deeper reflection, her guilt is just as misplaced as Pastor Karl's. People should be safe from mugging, no matter what they say or how often they say it. And purses should be safe, even if left unattended in a grocery cart.

Fio was a victim. Pastor Karl was a victim. The thief and the mugger are the guilty ones.