Thursday, December 8, 2016

Wolf or Sheep?

My friend Arthur was a teenager in France during WWII. While delivering wine for his father's business, his bike tire went flat. It was late, getting dark, and when a truck slowed beside him, he took the offer for a ride home. He soon realized he was in the company of men who didn't speak French (American soldiers). If he was with American soldiers then who were these Frenchmen? La Resitance of course!

"We could use a young boy with a bike," they said, and within minutes Arthur was ready to fight for freedom.

As the truck moved on, Arthur's initial excitement waned. As he contemplated the dangerous work, he was already missing his family. When they reached his town, he politely, sheepishly, declined the chance to be a French fighter.

In his later years, in another world, living in America, Arthur had another unexpected encounter. A former nazi officer was standing in his company, in his church. Thirty years had passed but they still recognized one another. The old resentment for a man in a Nazi uniform returned. Arthur dared to ask "How did you continue wearing the nazi uniform when their atrocities became so transparent?"

"Why Arthur, I could do so much more good while wearing the enemy's uniform!"

It's really a simple story about assumptions; and one could safely and fairly assume a man in a nazi uniform shared the same ideals as the rest of the regime. But every once in a while...

It's the same assumptions we made along with Harry Potter about Professor Severus Snape.

Never fall for the wolf in sheep's clothing, but maybe the sheep in wolf's clothing is really---

a sheep.