They were high school sweethearts and grew up in the same rural Midwest church as their parents and grandparents.  Everyone knew they’d get married as soon as they got out of college.

One night, passion outdistanced reason and a new life was conceived.  They wouldn’t embarrass the family so they moved the wedding date up so no one would suspect.  However, they felt the minister and their parents needed to know so they told them, assuming they’d keep the secret.

But the minister had other plans; deeds in the dark needed to have a public light shined on them to discourage other lustful youth from backseat passions.  If he was going to perform the ceremony in the church, then the young couple needed to publicly confess their sin.

Sunday came and the nervous young couple, bound by generations of religious tradition and familial expectations, slowly rose from their pew at the appointed time to walk to the podium. As they walked by his grandparent’s pew, the old couple rose and clasped hands in solidarity with the young couple.

As the young man nervously made his way to the pulpit, his grandmother- a matriarch of the church- brushed him aside and grabbed the microphone.

“Today, my grandson and his fiancé have been told to confess their sin to you; they are going to have a baby out of wedlock. But if they have to confess, it’s only right that my husband and I confess, too. Fifty-five years ago we were married in this same church for the same reason; I was pregnant and didn’t want to embarrass the family. So if this young couple has to confess, so we do.

Scanning the congregation, she smiled and lowered her voice and whispered into the microphone, “And I know a few of you probably need to do the same.”

No one threw any stones; no one remembered what the preacher’s sermon was about that day.

It really didn’t matter; the lesson had already been learned; pointed fingers frequently backfire.