Character is who you are when you think no one is looking.
–Dr. Laura Schlessinger–
Of all the personal testimonies confided to me, I find none more compelling than the one related here. Decades later, I have written it down as best as I can recall, with the permission of its protagonist. It is a study in honesty.
As long as I can remember, I wanted to join the Air Force. After years of dreaming and planning, I found myself filling out forms as part of the enlistment process. It all seemed pretty routine until…
I stared in disbelief at the words on the questionnaire: Have you wet your bed recently? Why did the Government want to know that? The problem was I had, in fact, wet my bed in the not-too-distant past. I could easily lie and answer no. What would happen if I told the truth? Would an affirmative answer keep me from becoming an Air Force pilot? Yet my parents, priests, and teachers had always taught me the importance of being honest. “Lord,” I prayed, “give me the courage to do the right thing.” After a moment’s hesitation, I ignored my shame and answered yes.
Days later, I stood in a military hospital examining room. The doctor scanned my file. “Hmm,” he said. “It says here that you’ve been wetting your bed. Let’s have a look.”
To make a long story short, tests revealed that I was in the very initial stages of testicular cancer. Needless to say, my family and I were in a state of turmoil. Yet the subsequent surgery was so successful that I needed neither radiation nor chemotherapy.
No, I was not able to enter the Air Force, but I am alive to tell you this story. Thank God I had the courage to embrace the truth! The woman whom I eventually married is grateful too.
Our Lord said it best (John 8:32): Sooner or later, “The truth shall make you free.”