Raccoon Confessional

No raccoons were harmed in the making of this blog post. [photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

My wife and I ordered three raccoons from a wild food coop.  At least, that’s what happened in the dream I had last night.  Are wild food coops even a real thing?

Anyway, in the dream we got the three frozen raccoons, skinned and dressed and wrapped in cellophane.  We were on vacation.  There was only enough room in the rental house fridge for two of the ‘coons.  So I found a trap door in the floor and stuck the third ‘coon in there.

But it turned out that the trap door in the floor was actually a laundry pit.  My wife threw in clothes and soap and pretty soon there was blood and suds everywhere.  So I cleaned up the mess, gathered up the raccoon remains, carried them to the empty rental house next door, and plastered them behind the bricks of the fireplace.

A couple of days later I saw the landlord and a work truck next door.  I went over and made conversation, pretending to be just another nosy tenant.  A workman was replacing the real bricks with fake bricks made of wood, and I was terrified that a fire would someday result and kill an innocent family on vacation.

I woke up — too soon to resolve whether or not I was going to come clean about what I did wrong and take responsibility for making sure the repairs were done right.  Why did I dream all this?  Because two things happened on Facebook over the last couple of days.

Confession box in the church of Hanswijk, Mechelen, Flanders [photo courtesy of Wikipedia]

#1: A friend of mine asked why confessionals are only a Catholic thing.  And, as an ordained interfaith minister, I sincerely offered my services as a non-denominational confessor.

#2: Another friend of mine posted a video involving a martial arts instructor whose material I think is substandard.  I over-reacted and said some very negative things.  Although I stand by my criticisms as valid, I don’t at all stand by my  condescending, sarcastic, ruthless and swaggering language.  Without qualification I completely, unreservedly and publicly apologized for my remarks.

I confessed.

Isn’t it fascinating how that worked out?  And isn’t it interesting how my dream showed me how lies, mistakes, and hidden things rot and fester in the dark until they’re dragged out into the light?

I’m still wrestling with how I acted, still trying to internalize what I’m learning, still trying to let go of guilt that seems out of proportion to just some harsh words.  This lesson is still unfolding.

What I’ve got so far is that everybody needs to apologize and confess their sins, especially confessors.  And the longer you wait the more it stinks.

 

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