Dante, in his fictional portrayal of hell, put traitors at its dark, tortured core.

To betray love and abandon those close to you was a big deal for Dante.

As a writer, that is…as a man he was no hero.

Few of us are.  We are all unfaithful to someone or something–our high school crush, our diet…something.

To be human is to cheat a little, I guess. But we must acknowledge this–we, each of us alone are responsible for the lines we draw around what we hold dear. 

Draw the lines wrong and the “dear” slips away.

We tell ourselves–I will not go past this point of demarcation–a line drawn just past a “something” we should already not covet or consume.

We say to ourselves either–

I will not do this


I deserve…

It is the “I deserve” part we should pause to examine.  Sinners (a quaint old word for all of us) tend to justify their infidelities with deserve and must have.  Then cloak the indulgence in the illusion of secrecy–no one will know.

But Someone always knows.

He knows because He is God, and by definition omniscient.

He knows all our secret stories of unfaithfulness, squalor, and sin because they were poured out on Him 

In the rictus of the Cross

In the jeers of the crowd

In the agony of physical abuse

In the final unbearable…

In the final unbearable He bore to make us 


2 thoughts on “Unfaithful

  1. Well written. We can push that demarcation line inch by inch too and then justify it through the “I deserve it” line. Dante hit the nail on the head, in my opinion, because he acknowledged the link of the sin of treachery between Judas and Lucifer and put them in the frozen lake at the bottom. It’s a classic epic poem with great insight.

    • Thank you. I admit that I find Dante’s specificity both brilliant and unsettling.

      The issue of treachery is so powerful because it can only exist in the violation of intimate trust

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