Our women’s church group meets every Thursday. We sing, pray, and share our lives according to the scripture that evening. There are about thirty- five women in a big circle. Last night’s topic was, “How do you handle temptation?” The conversation began across the room and wound around to my left. Some people pray when they are tempted. Others get quiet and contemplate. Some shared some personal temptations.
The time came for my response.“My struggle with temptation right now is impure thoughts…ALL DAY LONG!” I reported dramatically. The room went dead quiet. No one moved. I was kidding, but not a single person even chuckled. They stared at me with big eyes and wrinkled their foreheads. Surely, they knew I don’t have impure thoughts all day long. I finally had to spread my arms and declare “I‘m joking!” which brought raucous laughter.
I howled at their response. Their faces were priceless as they awaited more details on my dirty thoughts. I can’t believe no one found this odd of me. Seriously, do I look like an impure-thoughts- all- day-long kind of woman? I think I finally convinced them sufficiently that it was just a joke. I didn’t want to lose their respect.
Two of my close friends mentioned that I never spoke of this to them. “I don’t have them,” I explained. ”I was kidding, ” I assured them. I don’t think they believed me.
Later we stopped at our local after meeting place for a glass of wine. One friend continued in disbelief, “When you said all- day- long, I thought you really had a problem. Are you sure you’re kidding? It seemed so believable. You can tell us. We won’t think less of you.” How long were we going to have this discussion about my not so funny joke?
In second grade when I received my First Confession, I confessed this sin. If I saw someone kiss, I thought that was an impure thought. Even a toothpaste commercial advertising a fresh breath smooch was confessed. Imagine what the priest must have thought when I confessed weekly that I had these immoral thoughts. I added in that I fought with my sister for some balance of sins.
Next time our church group meets, I will take a very serious approach to the reading offered. I usually do. This time the devil must have tempted me to be ornery and he won.
I’ll be on good behavior for a few weeks. They need time to recover before I tell them about my real sins.