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  • Pastor Ralph Acerno

The Hiding Place

Growing up on Farnham Avenue in 1957 could be a scary thing, especially with airplanes flying low over your house. I know because I and my friend Eddy Ohland, both 10, were just at that curious age of experimenting with cigarettes. We'd actually pick them up off the street and go down into my cellar t to light them up.

Of course, we didn't inhale in those days. My favorites were the Kool cigarettes with the picture of the penguin. When we were outside and a plane passed by, we'd put them out in fear of being seen and caught.

We soon became bolder and began smoking in my bedroom when no one was home. In my window stood a huge Vornado fan to cool the entire house. We discovered that if we put the fan on exhaust, it would rid the room of all telltale smoke and odor.

One thing that we liked to do was let the cigarette get sucked into the fan, ridding us of any evidence. This worked well in the summer of '57. We were big shots. Once we even found a half-smoked White Owl cigar - ugh!

Then came the day when my dad took out the fan for the winter. We had never realized that the window had a screen which caught all the butts. There to our shock lay all the insurmountable evidence.

I've long since quit smoking, but I'll never forget the look on my dad's face. I couldn't hide the truth from him forever.

There is a verse in the Bible that speaks of the fact that we cannot hide our misdeeds forever. It's found in Numbers 32:23. It reminds us that sooner or later, we will be accountable for our actions. Better to come clean now than later.

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