Charming smiles and serial killers. Perfect manners and ugly hearts.



On the bus.

At church.

In the Doctor’s waiting room.

“If you knew what was in the heart of the person sitting next to you,

you would move!”

That’s the quote my cousin put on my blog. Something her Pastor said.

It’s true.

I sat next to men and women who smiled and said “please” and “thank you” and “praise the Lord”.  They still smile, say please and thank yous and praise the Lord. They will continue to do it until they die.

A little annoying at times.

Besides making me look like a grump in comparison, their facial muscles must ache. Still, I got to give them credit for living the same on the outside as the inside.

That’s a good thing.

It’s the ones who pretend that worry me. Their “please, thank you and praise the Lord” routine is just that – a routine. Barely skin deep.

  • One zealous minister was convicted of sexual crimes and sent to prison.
  • Another girl,  a college aged babysitter so sweet  and frail I thought she would melt with goodness. She ended up terrorizing the psych ward to which she was committed.
  • Then, there is the pastor and son team who preached on sexual purity during my teen years. Later, they both confessed to various affairs with women in the church.
  • The good ole’ boys in the small Texas town where we lived. Family men who went to church and held positions of power in our small town. Prayed and paid taxes. Beat their wives, too.

Don’t forget Ted Bundy who had the manners and charm of the “boy next door”.  He volunteered at a crisis hotline while perfecting his reputation as one of the most notorious serial killers of the twentieth century.

“The more I learn of people and myself, the more I think he was right!” my cousin added to the quote gave me.

What can I say?

We may not be convicted of heinous crimes but we all have our dark side.

Underneath the warm fuzzy blanket of social niceties oozes a stinky mess of selfish desire.

I know.

Take my blog yesterday as an example.

While I handed out Easter eggs in Sunday school, I plotted revenge in my heart. While I pretended to celebrate the greatest event of my faith, I seethed with resentment.

Bottom line, we all need Jesus. Always have. Always will.

Thank God for redemption.