Monday Inspiration: When Ignorance isn’t Bliss
I have heard over the years the phrase that ignorance is bliss.
The phrase actually comes from a poem written by Thomas Gray (1742), Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College: “No more; where ignorance is bliss, ‘Tis folly to be wise.”
But I have to say that when ignorance isn’t bliss. Trouble does follow.
Last week, I had an appointment with a new physician and figured this first visit would be predictable as with all new patient visits, the filling out paperwork, turning over insurance card and then paying that co-pay up front.
Now, when I entered the doctor’s office, in the waiting area was an elderly gentleman, somewhat rough around the edges.
When I sat down next to him, he immediately got up and wandered to the other side of the room to watch the television that is hanging on the wall. He then returned and sat down, never once looking in my direction.
A young man of Asian descent was seated directly across from the aging man and me.
Suddenly, this old man begins to start a conversation with the young man, inquiring of him about his parentage, residence and education.
Much to my surprise this young man was quite uninhibited with disseminating his personal history. He is a college student majoring in medicine. His father is likewise a doctor. His family lives in an upscale community in a nearby vicinity where my family once resided. Finally, he was interning in the doctor’s office as he waits to find out what medical school will accept him.
After all that information, this old man states, that he also once lived in the area where the young man lives but he had to sell his home because the taxes were too high.
I sat quietly not looking to the left or right of me and half-heartedly watching the afternoon television channel set on “The Chew. ”
Then a young woman enters the doctor’s office. She announces to the receptionist that she is there to talk to one of the doctors. She sits down with her paperwork and I assumed that she is a pharmaceutical representative.
Fast forward, as the old man is still yakking away with the young man.
Then out of nowhere. This man says to the young student.
“Yeah, I used to live around that way. Things have changed. The area and traffic is really bad. Yeah. Me and my wife sold our house…. “yep; I packed up all my guns and my rope!”
Just at that moment, you could sense the young man’s aura of goodwill turn to silent shock.
Of course, what could he say?
After all, he wasn’t blind to see that there were two black women sitting in the waiting area.
This older white man knew exactly what he was saying.
Did he expect a reaction?
I don’t know.
But what I felt for this man was pity because his ignorance hadn’t impressed the young medical student. It probably made him feel uncomfortable and ashamed that he was actually dialoguing with a racist.
After my doctor’s appointment, I spoke with my daughter and a close friend about the incident.
If anything I learned from that experience it is that Jesus truly has changed me. It would have been a time when I would have responded in anger. However, I don’t need to anymore. I just know that I needed to pray for this man.
After all, the Word of God speaks loudly when it comes to defending His elect, “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Romans 12:19
Lastly, when I sat watching the local news the next day, this inspirational news story caught my attention. You see, God shows us that there is far more love and compassion in the world, despite the ugliness of ignorance and hate.
In Him Alone
The Counterfeit Christian
2015 The Year of Our Lord
FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV