Badges September 2018
I lost the little magnet that secures my profession’s ‘R’ logo to my shirt, but I am still a Realtor. A week later I found the magnet; however, now I can’t find the logo button but I am still a Realtor. This reminded me that I am not the logo; I am me. My friend tells me that his brother is being verbally abused at work. His brother is not the abuse; he is himself. Becky said that she lost her church name tag and lanyard. We looked all over for it, and it was not to be found. We made up another one for her. She is not her name tag. She is Becky, a person.
There is a great movie scene in Treasures of the Sierra Madre. Gnarly bandits have surrounded the main characters who have finally got some gold. Bandit, “We are the Federales, you know, the mounted police.” Bogart, “If you are the police, where are your badges?” Bandit, “Badges? We ain’t got no badges. We don’t need no badges. I don’t have to show you any stinking badges.” Then he pulls his gun, which is true to the character of banditry.
Symbols, titles, positions, degrees, and sometimes accomplishments give you a picture of the individual. Assuming that these factors are even real, we still do not have the full picture of the person. God sees their heart. Unfortunately, we cannot. From November of 1934 to March of 1939, two Prime Ministers of England Baldwin and Chamberlain had compromised their standards over and over again with regard to Adolph Hitler. After those four and a half years his army invaded Czechoslovakia. The mask was off, and the abundant truth came hard upon the English people. Hitler said, “I am bringing hope to a beleaguered German people.” His badge said Chancellor, but his heart said Tyrant. You know the rest.
In the Pink Panther movies, Peter Sellers was Inspector Clouseau. When addressed that way, he reminded everyone that it was “Chief Inspector.” His reputation in the title was far above his abilities in the field of investigation.
Sally was a Navy man’s wife. She was shy, unassuming, and well controlled by her husband, even when he was deployed. She was not allowed to have a car, drive, socialize or go to work. The husband was clueless about her capabilities and intentions. Her title would be “Obedient Wife” if there was one. When he got out of the Navy we gave them a going away party the day before they left for Texas. At that party, Sally presented her husband with a check for $10,000 ($50,000 in today’s dollars.), and you could hear a pin drop in that room. She had saved up from her grocery money and taken work into her home. He was speechless.
When we judge people based on all of the criteria above, we may be acquitting the guilty. Likewise, when we judge based on the lack of these, we may be punishing the innocent. I have gotten that look from my 85 year old grandmother across the holiday table, that seemed to say, “there is more to me than you could ever imagine.” Maybe you have, too.