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Topic: Pride (04/12/04)
TITLE: IMPRISONED BY PRIDE by Wendy Decker
By WENDY DECKER
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He never expected the situation to get so out of control. But they pushed him too far this time. What man would stand by and let someone get away with what they had said, although it was true, he thought. But the truth was, he didn’t do it because he was proud of her, it was his pride that he had defended.
He knew his mother did the best she could. It had been just the two of them since he was a baby. She had no parents and his father abandoned them after he was born. Her lifestyle made him sick, but he couldn’t let her be spoken about that way either. His pride let him down just like she had.
Why couldn’t she have been like other mothers, he thought. Why couldn’t she have worked in a store or be a waitress, anything else? There are so many ways to make a living, why did she choose what she did? We didn’t have to live in a nice apartment and have a nice car. I know she wanted me to have the things she didn’t have. But was it for me or for her? Those things mean nothing now, he thought. His pride had brought him here, now his anger was making this place his home.
He had thought about his sister. She annoyed him when she tried to force her moral values upon him. However, she had always been there when he needed her. He never expected her to be there for him like she had. They were only half brother and sister after all. Their father had abandoned her family as well. He hadn’t even gotten to know her until he was 15. How’s she gonna feel about me now? He thought. He jokingly referred to her as The Amish Lady when she recited bible verses to him. She never spoke to him in a judgmental way, but in a loving way. However, he still hadn’t wanted to hear any of it.
If God is so great, why did He make this happen, he thought. He engaged in an imaginary conversation with his sister in his mind. “God didn’t make it happen, He let it happen. Your pride is going to cause you problems one day,” she had told him. God says, “Pride goes before destruction.” (Proverbs 16:18.) KJV “My pride is all I have,” he told her. “How can I just give that away?” “Pride is not all you have, you have God,” she said. God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble. (James 4:6). KJV She had read that verse to him once, and he suddenly remembered it. How strange he thought for him to remember a bible verse.
He walked over to the window and looked through the bars and watched the world go on without him. He was only 18 years old. He’d walked past this place before and envisioned the prison walls like a vice that squeezed the essence out of the foolish souls locked inside. He never imagined he’d be one of them.
He thought about God and his pride and what had become of him. I don’t know what I could have done to make things turn out any different than they had, he thought. His sister’s words intruded upon his conscience again. “If you read God’s word he will teach you,” she said.
He looked down at the floor and saw a bible lying next to the bed. This ain’t no hotel, he thought, so why is there a bible here? He sat down on the uncomfortable surface and opened it up. He read and read until the light no longer shone through the bars. When he finished, he closed his eyes and prayed.
Not far away, his sister sat in her comfortable bed and also prayed, as she did every night, for him.