Sunday, September 23, 2007

Modesty, What's That??

I discovered a scantily-clad woman in my house today.

Well, actually I discovered her in one of my grocery bags as I was unloading the groceries in the kitchen this evening … There she was, smiling in her suggestive attire, right smack-dab on the front of the free grilling salt that came with my Hellman’s mayonnaise. I don’t even know what she was advertising but seeing as how grilling is mainly a man’s job around here, I know exactly who the advertisers were targeting! (Of course, I quickly tore her off the salt label and into the garbage can before she could reach her intended audience!)

The sad thing is that this incident followed on the heels of another one a few hours earlier. As I was leaving for the grocery store with Isabel, just a few feet in front of our house we witnessed a young couple very involved in one another. “Very involved” as in lying on top of each other in the grass with wandering hands on the move … and all in plain sight of my very curious five-year old daughter! Ugh. So on the way to the grocery store, we discussed why Mommy told Isabel not to look at the young couple and how looking at things that don’t please God can turn into thinking about things that don’t please God, and how thinking about them can turn into doing them – whether it’s fighting or lying or saying bad words or kissing on the grass in front of everybody when you aren’t married yet.

It was quite an awkward conversation to say the least! I asked Isabel whether she had any questions, and she reminded me that Mommy and Daddy kiss inside the house, and some children kiss their parents but that is okay, right??

The truth is that Chilean culture is very physical and in some ways that is heartwarming, such as when you are greeted with a hug or kiss on the cheek or when you see older couples still walking hand in hand around the city. It is also not unusual to see moms and daughters and female friends holding hands. But there are many times that lines are crossed, especially in public advertising and with sights such as the one we witnessed today. It reminds us that we need to be so careful to guard our own hearts and especially the innocent hearts of our children.

And meanwhile I can only hope that in the midst of my fumbling for words, my daughter somehow caught a grain of truth that she can carry with her into the days ahead …

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