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THE LECHEROUS HEART


Malcolm Muggeridge, the famous British philosopher and journalist who converted to Christianity late in life, once told the story of when he was working in India as a young man.


One evening, he went down to the river for a swim. As he entered the water, he saw across the river an Indian woman from a nearby village who had come for her evening bath. Muggeridge immediately felt the allurement of the moment, and he was besieged by temptation. He had lived with this kind of temptation all his adult life, but until this moment he had fought it off out of respect for his wife.

But tonight, he was weak and vulnerable. He hesitated just a moment, then swam furiously across the river toward the woman, literally trying to outdistance his conscience. When he was just a few feet away from her, he emerged from the water and what he saw took his breath away. She wasn't a beautiful young maiden, but old and hideous, with wrinkled skin, and worst of all, she was a leper. He said later, "The creature grinned at me, showing a toothless mask." There in the water, he muttered to himself, "What a dirty, lecherous woman!" and began to swim away. But as he did, a sudden shock gripped him: "It wasn't just the woman who was dirty and lecherous," he said. "It was my own heart."


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