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A little bug drives home an important message

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I am an incurable proofreader. Not always perfect, but always checking to see if letters and punctuation marks are in their proper places - and that pronunciation of spoken words is correct.

Throughout my long and checkered career, I have been a proofreader for Xerox research, pilot manuals at North American Aviation, vocational education research reports at a federally funded council, numerous church newsletters, and - unofficially - speakers wherever I happen to be.

So, during a church service, when I heard a word read that was not the word in the hymnal, but something similar to it, naturally my proofreading apparatus started sending up red flares.

But then something strange happened. It was as though I heard a little voice inside. It said, "You are straining at gnats and swallowing camels." This, of course, is a no-no. One should ignore tiny mistakes and focus on the total inspired reading.

The congregation began to sing, and I began to adjust my attitude and give this more thought.

At that very minute - and I'm not making this up - a real gnat flitted down upon the page of the hymnal my husband was holding for us.

This audacious little gnat then marched to the top of the page - and flew away! I'm not sure whether or not the gnat gave me a reproving look, but I got the message.

Perhaps the small insect had a bigger message for all of us: to remember to focus on the incredible number of good and compassionate deeds happening in the world - not just the bad.


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