Fixing a Situation

A baggage handler removing the luggage from the Sao Paulo-Rio flight picked up a passenger’s pet carrier — and saw the dog was dead./1 He quickly called his superior, who, recognizing the situation was ripe for a legal suit, paged his supervisor.
He thought for a moment and told his subordinate, “There’s a pet shop near the airport. Go and get a dog like this one.”
“But when she gets home she’ll know it’s not her pet!” he objected.
“Once she gets out of the airport, it will be her problem. And she’ll not look closely in the bustle of claiming her luggage and getting away,” replied the chief.
So while the subordinate found a similar animal at the pet shop, the chief stalled the dog’s owner.
Finally, the pet carrier appeared with a live animal. The owner took one look at the dog and exclaimed, “This is not my dog!”
The supervisor went to bat. “Ma’am, with the difference in pressure and temperature during flight, and considering the stress the pet feels, the animals often act strangely until they get in familiar surroundings.”
“Well, this flight certainly changed my dog,” she declared, “because when I put him on the plane, he was dead. I decided to bring him back to Rio and bury him close to me, since I loved him so much.”
How often do we try to fix a situation or improve a bad moment, only to make things worse? Somehow, we think our dishonest schemes can put things right.
When things go wrong, however, there is no substitute for honesty, confession, and transparency.
Problems and situations are to be not managed, but faced squarely. Character determines whether we will work around a problem, or deal openly with it. “The integrity of the upright guides them, but the crookedness of the treacherous destroys them” (Proverbs 11:3, ESV).
“But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God” (2 Corinthians 4:2).
When we come clean with mistakes and are open about bad situations, we might even discover the dog was dead to start with.
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1/ As told to me by the relative of an airport official in Sao Paulo. I’ve not discovered on Snopes.com or other sites if this is an urban legend.


When things go wrong, there is no substitute for honesty, confession, and transparency.

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J. Randal Matheny

Servant of the Lord at GoSpeak
Randal and his wife have lived and worked in Brazil since 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. Randal's a lefty, a chocolate lover, an author and a poet. His microblog is randal.us.

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