CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©
One of the main parts of a preacher’s job is disappointing people. Folks are disappointed when we preach something other than what they want to hear, and by every hymn we choose, since it is never one of their favorites, and because we are not perfect.
They are especially disappointed when we do not have answers to ineffable questions, and when we don’t have the ability to perform the miracles they so desperately pray for when someone they love, or perhaps themselves, is/are in trouble, or even have adequate words or rituals to make them feel that life has meaning even in their grief.
Thus I was not well suited for life as a parson, for I hate to disappoint people. I even hide around the corner after I ring my grandson’s doorbell, to let him know I am there, so we can go practice driving for his license exam, for fear that Ernie, the granddog, will see me and be disappointed that he is not getting a walk, since he ALWAYS gets a walk when he sees Grandpa, for he is able to work my reluctance to disappoint to its highest point. Yes, he won’t even remember his disappointment once we are gone, but that makes it all the worse, since in that one moment his disappointment is complete. He does not understand that this, too, will pass.
So to keep this blog from being disappointing, I try to post something new each day, so if you come here looking for something you will find it, on the theory that the one who seeks shall find, and I try to say something at least slightly amusing.
To fulfill that latter rule, I shall point out that today Helen says she thinks she is getting taller, because when she bends over to pick something up from the floor, the floor is farther away than it used to be.
If, however, you are one of those people who is disappointed when nothing new appears here each day, or if you are the other one, you are going to be disappointed every once in a while over the next month, for we are moving from Iron Mountain, MI to Bloomington, IN. We came to Iron Mountain because the grandchildren were here, but they are grown up now, and living in a place where life is defined by winter even in the summer has lost its appeal. We want to live where winter is defined by summer, and where everyone is identified by the IU School of Music and the Hurryin’ Hoosiers basketball team. Now is the late winter [We had 6 inches of snow yesterday.] of our discontent, which requires much carrying of boxes and packing of stuff we could surely do without but which no one else will take, and so, while I shall make a real effort to post something once in a while, it’s not going to be every day until this move is over and I can find my desk, and my brain, in Bloomington.
John Robert McFarland
The “place of winter” mentioned in the title line is Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP], where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.]
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