Monday, January 16, 2012

Telephone line

I’m back! Holiday break/sick leave/ten month old started walking and getting into everything adjustment/reading extravaganza has come to an end. Hope 2012 has been good to you so far!

Okay, back to business.

A recent snafu with my internet/telephone company had me thinking about that old game of telephone. While I have been explaining myself over and over to the very convincing con artists who run the AT&T call center for two months now regarding the issue, I see that they neither pass along the correct information, nor do they actually fulfill those promises to resolve the issue. Humph! Needless to say after more than a dozen phone calls, and more than twice as many wasted hours on hold, I am at the end of my rapidly fraying rope of gracious tolerance. And apparently, I have learned the hard way that I am far too trusting.

Hear me AT&T, you have poked mama bear one too many times. Watch out!

And so, to avoid any further miscommunications, I have drafted a very bold, and comically enraged short story masquerading as a complaint letter to the incompetent criminals who continue to work me over with their ‘can do’ attitude and their contrite apologies. The silver-tongued jezebels. I think it is some of my finest work!

But the whole process got me thinking about how naive we can be. How trusting. How easily we can believe blindly in decency and honesty. Whether from a person we know and trust, or a complete stranger on the other end of the line, we all put some trust in humanity to do right by us and shoot straight.

The novel I am working on centers around a great deception the main character believes from the mouth of his best friend when they were in high school. The ramifications of that blind belief come to the surface ten years later with an unexpected and horrifying outcome. We have all engaged in gossip at one point or another, and know how something seemingly innocent can have a rippling effect that ends up causing great devastation.

Much like that tried and true game of telephone. The facts get tweaked and twisted bit by bit until the truth has been rewritten into something else entirely. A lie. And more often than not the consequences of lies (okay, not generally when we are referring to the harmless game of telephone) are great. Often irrevocable.

How different things might have been had the person sought out the truth from the source instead of buying into a slew of lies that altered the course of their life.

I remember, all too well, being the subject of such demoralizing rumors and lies. How absurd they sounded. No one could possibly believe something so outlandish. Right?


Those tentacles of deceit can be like Stretch Armstrong. Much more far reaching than seems possible and far more damaging than a stretchy lump of rubber that miraculously shrinks back to size.

Are there any lies you chose to believe that affected your life in a major way? The devil is the master of lies, he knows just what seed of doubt to plant to make you buy in, hook, line, and sinker. How do you protect yourself from gossip? And for my sanity, has anyone else ever been worked over by the crooks on the other end of your phone line?


  1. I think we are all tempted to believe lies every day. In fact, every time we believe that something we do can separate us from God's perfect love for us we are buying into a lie. I am going to meditate on the finished work at the Cross, and let His perfect love for me cast out fear. 1 John 4:16-19

    1. I couldn't agree more. I hear "works" preached far more often than I hear about grace. Nothing we do our don't do can make us worthy of the cross. That is a great deception.

  2. Amy,
    Such a good post and such thought-provoking questions.
    Wow, I've been unpacking them for years now. Tossing this one out. And that one.
    And one of my values: honesty.
    I've learned honesty isn't always pretty ... but it's valuable, nonetheless.
    So glad I had the chance to read your blog today. I'll be back.

    1. Beth, like you, I place a high value on honesty. It's tricky though. Hard to swallow that honesty can, on occasion, be as destructive and hurtful as lies. And shades of grey are difficult to justify as a believer on the path for God's truth. The most diffcult thing is protecting our hearts against those lies from the enemy. They always seem to creep up when our guard is down.

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspective!

  3. Thought-provoking and insightful. By the time a rumor reaches a lie, are we inclined to believe the truth?

    I can't recall being the object of a rumor. I'm sure it's happened, but as far as I can remember, I've never caught wind of one.

    I don’t believe there is a way to protect yourself from it. Even with a clean reputation, there will always be a ‘tentacle of deceit that whips out to the town crier.

    As I always say with difficult decisions and situations, if it doesn’t affect my future, I can care, but I won’t let it matter.

  4. Oh, Amy, don't lose that trusting spirit! Insightful post--got my mind whirring on possibilities for my hero :) I love what Debbie had to add.