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When a Wilde Man Weeps

Just visualize this true story as you read it aloud:

A famous man lives a double life. While living with his wife and two children, he falls in love with a younger man and enters into a sexual relationship with him.

The famous man lavishes the younger man with every whim of the young man’s heart, and the famous man later describes their intense union as the fruit of that love “which cannot speak its name.”

Irate and unmanageable, the young man’s father publicly exposes the famous man as a sodomite which prompts the famous man to sue the father for libel. But when numerous witnesses of the famous man’s public exploits are lined up to testify against him, the famous man is advised to drop the libel charges.

Soon thereafter, the famous man is arrested, tried, and found guilty of sodomy and public indecency. He is sentenced to two years of hard labor. Prison life is harsh and isolating, and ravages the famous man’s health.

In the first of his three prison placements, the famous man, like all the inmates, is allowed only two books for reading: The Holy Bible, and John Bunyan’s allegory, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

The famous man has a spiritual renewal.

He apologizes to the young man, and describes his former self as arrogant, vain, and ethically degraded. And he is so excited about his spiritual renewal–his redemption, that he writes to a religious organization involved in evangelization and ministry, and asks to participate in a six-month spiritual retreat.

The organization refuses him.

The famous man weeps.

When the famous man is released from prison, he spends the last couple of years of his life in exile, in poverty, and eventually back in the arms of his male lover.

Some 24 hours before the famous man’s death, the religious organization accepts him.

Who is at fault here?


*This is the very abridged story of author/playwright, Oscar Wilde. For more, read British Heritage Travel’s, “The life of Oscar Wilde in his own words.”

For another perspective-changing question that deserves discussion, read “A Call to Biblical Manhood.”


Sherry Boykin

Sherry Boykin helps Christian women transform their lives through the perspective-shifting power of story.

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