by Rick White

This content is part of a series.

Bitterness (7 of 7)
Rick White
Matthew 18:21-22 / Ephesians 4:31-21 / Hebrews 12:15

Introduction: (David Seay, March 1995)

Shortly after becoming the pastor of a small Baptist Church in north central Texas in 1975, one of the deacons suggested that I visit a member of the church whose wife had died about a year earlier. Mr. Lamar had not attended Bible study or worship for a number of years because, the deacon said, he had gotten mad about something. Whatever had caused him to become angry had occurred so long ago that no one in the church really remembered what had happened.

My first visit with Mr. Lamar was one of the most unusual encounters I've ever had with another person. He had two areas in his home that he wanted to be sure that I saw. One was his wife's bedroom. He had kept it just like it had been before she had died. The bed was made, including lace- covered throw pillows. Lace doilies, perfume bottles, a hand mirror and brush, and other items were all in place on the dresser, as if she were using the room. His other point of interest was a glass-fronted bookcase that sat in the middle of the living room floor. It contained a set of leather-bound literary classics that he had won in a drawing. He was so proud to have the books, although I never was impressed that he was the kind of person who would ever sit down and read any of them. They were just for show.

As to the rest of the house, it was obvious that he and his dog lived in it. The dining room table was pushed up against the wall and was stacked with boxes and boxes of jigsaw puzzles. Pieces of one puzzle were spread out on the table. Although there were several chairs in the living room, only two were cleared enough to be used. One was his chair and the other one obviously belonged to the dog . .. . . .and to any guest who came along. In subsequent visits to Mr. Lamar's home, I chose to stand rather than sit in the dog's chair.

I've never known a man who was so lone ...

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