A Pain In The Butt

Sometimes you read something so bizarre that you have to stop and wonder whether you are awake or having a having a ridiculously embellished lucid dream. You know what I’m talking about right? The dreams where the specificity of detail is so unsettling that you don’t forget them for years.

One time I so vividly dreamed that the closet door of my 4th-grade classroom actually led to my great-grandmother’s attic that I not only announced it to everyone when I woke up, but went to school fully expecting to access her place in Pennsylvania from a door in California.

You can understand the shock when, upon opening the closet, I discovered that the closet contained a partially assembled “Visible Woman” and a dilapidated, “wheel-around” medical skeleton.

I was disturbed, but didn’t flinch or scream because my great-grandma’s attic was much more frightening.

If you’ve never had the type of experience I’m talking about, try reading this portion of an Associated Press article I stumbled upon… and by “stumbled upon” I mean “eagerly clicked on when it popped up on the Yahoo sidebar”:

“Several possible victims have come forward alleging a woman posing as a Florida doctor and promising buttocks enhancement pumped their behinds with a toxic concoction of cement, superglue and flat-tire sealant”

It gets worse…

“Oneal Ron Morris- who police say was born a man and identifies as a woman — was arrested Friday… and charged with practicing medicine without a license with serious bodily injury.”

And finally…

“…a victim who was looking to get a job at a nightclub and wanted a curvier figure paid Morris $700 for the injections in 2010.”

Yes, you are awake.

What boggles my mind is that there were SEVERAL people who were willing to let a gender-indeterminate confidence man, with no medical practice, office, or credentials fill their butts up with an unspecified goo.

We aren’t talking about one person who happened to be kidnapped and forced to undergo a terrible torture, we are talking about many people who, desperate for a more “callipygian” appearance, willingly agreed to undergo an unlicensed medical procedure at the hands of a completely disreputable person.

Which of course brings me to the “medical practitioner/confidence man” in question…

Confidence Schemes, and the Con-men who run them, have been at work for millenia. Scripture records many devious characters who took others into their confidence, only to manipulate them for their own purposes.

The Biblical hero Joshua fell prey to a confidence scheme during his conquest of the “Promised Land”.

Some nearby cities, desperate to avoid destruction, sent out emissaries dressed in worn-out garb and bearing aged-equipment. Claiming to be from a far-off land, they begged Joshua to make a peace treaty with them on the basis that they were “too far away” to cause any harm for his plans.

Joshua agreed to make peace, only to find that the very next city he was to battle had “pulled a fast one” on him.

In terms of variety, Confidence Men come in all shapes, sizes, ages, and genders. The only commonality among them is that they exploit the typical human characteristics of

greed,

dishonesty,

vanity,

credulity,

compassion,

irresponsibility,

desperation

and

naïveté.

The common factor involved in every confidence scheme is that the victim (mark) relies on the good faith of the con-artist despite MANY obvious indicators that they should not.

The natural instincts of the victim are not overwhelmed by the skill of the predator, but by their own overwhelming desire for an end-result that they are unable to obtain on their own. In short, while they are certainly preyed upon, their lust for the unattainable is what identifies them to the con-man as a potential victim and then ultimately becomes their undoing.

It’s not like God doesn’t have the human condition completely sussed out, listen to what he tells us in the Book of James:

“When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

Sin is a confidence scheme.

Despite its complete inability to deliver what it promises to us we choose to sin, not because it tricks us but because we desire something that we can’t get on our own

… and we fail to trust that God will provide.

When we sin, we stare something completely disreputable in the face and choose to believe that it will deliver the undeliverable, because we want it to.

The people who fell for this scheme, people in search of better butts at a lesser cost, didn’t just want them for no reason in particular. They were hoping that their confidence in a con-man would boost their self-confidence and other’s confidence in them as a result.

They were hoping to get,

and get,

and get,

from someone who promised to give,

and give,

and give.

The sad part is that the thing they desired most, what they lusted for, is something that they thought somebody else would really want. What they got for their efforts was hurt, shame, and humiliation.

Because in the final analysis, that’s the best that sin can offer us.

Don’t trust it.

Don’t believe it.

Don’t fall for it.

“Further, my brothers and sisters, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you. Watch out for those dogs, those evildoers, those mutilators of the flesh. For it is we who are the circumcision, we who serve God by his Spirit, who boast in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh—” -Philippians 3:1-3

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