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Just a Trace
I felt like I was caught
in the plot line of a bad B grade movie and that at any moment someone
would emerge, light a cigarette, point a light in my eyes and say, "Ve
ave vays of making you talk."
Lucky me; I was selected
at random for a high tech search of my laptop compter as I passed through
the security check point at the Albuquerque Sunport. The guard took a paper
towel and wiped the outside of my laptop and put the towel over a small
pipe emitting air. A moment later, she showed a printout to her supervisor.
I strained to hear their conversation. "Run it again," he said.
By now, a line was forming
behind me. She repeated the routine. Wiping my laptop, putting the paper
over the small pipe and taking to her supervisor. After the third time,
the supervisor came over and asked to see my ticket.
People were staring at me.
I began to feel self conscious and kinda guilty. Guilty of what? I didn't
know, but I felt the same way I did as a freshman in High School setting
outside the principal's office because I smarted off at a teacher.
"Is there a problem?"
I asked. "Your computer has set off three alarms, and we can't let
you on the plane without the approval of the airlines." "What
do you mean alarms--what kind of alarms?" Looking at the tape, the
supervisor said, "The alarm is for plastic explosives." "Wait
just a minute, the official from the airlines will be here soon."
I looked at my watch, I'd
been in line now for 30 minutes, I could miss my flight. I considered my
options. I couldn't leave my laptop behind, but I needed the Powerpoint
presentation for the seminar I was leading in California and I was planning
on writing an article on the plane that was due in five days.
When the official arrived,
I answered a dozen questions. Then she asked, "Has anyone else touched
your computer?" "Well I bought it used." "How long
ago?" "Oh, last year." "Who did you buy it from."
"I don't remember his name, all I remember is he was an engineer at
Sandia." "Well that explains it," she said. "There
is still a residue on the computer from when he handled it."
I couldn't believe my ears.
They could detect what someone had on their hands who handled my computer
over a year ago. Amazing. She let me proceed.
As I boarded the plane, I
was relieved that everything worked out alright. I would meet my writing
deadline, and be able to teach the seminar. But I couldn't help but think
about the lingering effects of what we come in contact with. By now I wasn't
thinking about plastic explosives anymore, I was thinking about the condition
of my soul.
What are the lingering effects
of a lustful look, or a flash of anger? What happens to a Christian leader
when they give in to laziness and decide to relax instead of serve the
Lord? That's why King David cried out, "Purge me with hyssop, and
I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." (Psalm