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The Chameleon

Our Lord’s final stage of suffering began and His social freedom ended with a kiss of betrayal from the lips of one who followed Him for years calling Him “Master.”

Our journey of learning has its bitter moments, none more bitter than the times of subjection to duplicity, hypocrisy and betrayal.

 

Such a pleasant face!

What a wonderful disposition!

What do you want from me?

Or is it just that you have nothing to lose?

How easy it is to be pleasant

And helpful and polite;

How easy it is to show one self noble

And virtuous, even saintly

When there is something to be gained,

And the one with whom you are friendly has it.

Here, take what it is you are after.

I am so happy to give it to such

A pleasant fellow as you…

As long as you’ll promise me

To keep your end of the bargain.

I expect you’ll be as congenial as you are now,

When once you have what you seek from me.

You tell me you are honest;

You tell me you are reasonable and deserving

And just and upstanding and unselfish.

Fair enough! Here it is!

I could not have given it to a better man.

 

But sir, what about your promise?

What promise!? A misunderstanding?!

I was mistaken? But you said..!

I’m trying to get blood out of a stone you say?

Unreasonable?! But it’s broken!

You guaranteed it worked!

“As is” you say? “Buyer beware” you say?

Why is your face clouded?

Why are you suddenly so harsh and haughty?

Where are the meekness, the gentleness,

The politeness, the smiles?

Where are the tears and the impassioned pleas?

Why do you stomp where once you stepped softly?

You asked for sympathy and I gave.

You asked for generosity for your sake;

I gave that too.

Now I ask you for the same

And my request falls on a different man!

Are you the one with whom I dealt?

My, how you have changed!

You have what you want!

And I am again without.

 

So is the lot of the one who trusts in man.

Beware of those who want what you have;

Beware of yourself when you want

What others have!

 

Lethbridge, Oct. 11, 1984

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