A Moment to Reflect

20 July 2020

A Moment to Reflect -66

“May my accusers be clothed with disgrace;
    may their humiliation cover them like a cloak.”
 Psalm 109:29 New Living Translation


…but just make sure it’s the right door!

I do not have a photograph of the actual door which features in today’s true story, which took place in the days before I had acquired a camera. I could not even go back to the location now to take such a photograph, as the door (and for that matter the house to which it was attached) no longer exists.

I’ve written previously about the house in which I was born and where I spent the first seven years of my life—a tenement which, even by the standards of its time, was not fit for human habitation. It was demolished (I think round about 1968.)

This next story takes place not long after we had moved to a different house. This ‘new’ house was in slightly better condition than the one we had left, but the downside was that it was situated in one of the two least desirable housing estates in Port Glasgow. (I can’t remember if it was the worst, or only the second worst!) The whole area has since been razed to the ground so there is no trace of that house either. [To my knowledge all the other houses I’ve lived in are still standing …so far!]

Late one evening (after midnight) when our whole family were asleep, there was a sudden, very loud and persistent banging on our front door. At the sound of the hammering on the door our pet dog (a Sheltie) had scarpered into my parents’ bedroom and squeezed herself under the bed, shaking and whimpering. Such a good guard dog!

My Mum and Dad got up to see what all the noise was about only to find on the other side of the door two stern-looking policemen. “Why are you here waking up everyone in the house at this time of night?” (or words to that effect) was the obvious question my parents asked.

“We’re here to arrest Iain Cunningham!”

“Really?” said my Mum. “Why? What’s he done?”

“Deserted from the British Army!” was the gruff response.

“Come in and I’ll show you Iain Cunningham” said my Mum to ‘the boys in blue’ and led them through to my bedroom so that they could apprehend their prime suspect —a slightly bewildered 8-year old boy who’d just been wakened up from sleep.

“There’s Iain Cunningham!”

“Oh? …Ah think we’ve goat the wrang hoose!” 

And without a word of apology, or any other comment, they left.

It was one occasion in my life when I could legitimately and accurately say, “It wisnae me!”

There is a sequel to that story, which I’ll share tomorrow, but in the meantime, reflect on how easy it can be for any of us to bang self-righteously on the wrong door, by basing our ‘certainty’ on false information, by being over-confident in our own understanding, or simply by jumping to the wrong conclusions.

“Our thoughts of today might be proven wrong for tomorrow! Always be ready to accept that you can be mistaken!” ― Mehmet Murat ildan