Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, April 17, 2015


CHRIST IN WINTER: Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter… ©

I have profited much through the years from the books of John Killinger. Most recently I have been reading his Stories That Shaped My Life & Ministry. It has gotten me thinking about the stories that have shaped me.

Because I have always loved stories, I assumed from an early age that I would be a newspaper reporter. Those were the folks who got to tell stories on a daily basis. So I loved the radio show, “The Big Story.”

Each week the show recounted, in dramatic form, how one reporter got his big story. [It was always “his” in those days.] {1} One in particular that I remember was about how a reporter got his big story about a coal mine cave-in, by defying the mine owners who were trying to minimize it and keep it away from public awareness. The reporter took risks, actually got into the mine, and then told the real story. That appealed to me especially because my maternal grandfather, Elmer Pond, was killed in a coal mine cave-in before I was born. I always regretted not getting to know him.

The first story that really shaped me, however, was the Jesus story. I didn’t know it was the Jesus story, though. I read it in Tramp, the Sheep Dog, by Don Lang. Tramp just wanted to help, but he was rejected and despised. He was persistent, though, and saved the sheep, laid down his life for them, even though he was not wanted. I don’t think Don Lang intended to tell the Jesus story. He was just telling a good dog story. It set me up, though, to be a patsy for Jesus when I found out that it was really his story.

It was truly “the big story,” and I have been reporting on it ever since.

John Robert McFarland

1} Journalism is the first profession in which “the pink collar effect” was felt, or at least noticed, that being the depression of wages and status when a large number of women first enter a field.

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.]

I tweet as yooper1721.

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