Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Friday, July 3, 2015


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

I woke up this morning with my mind, stayed on Jesus
Woke up this morning with my mind, stayed on Jesus
Woke up this morning with my mind, stayed on Jesus
Allelu, allelu, alleluia…

I love that old spiritual, at all times, but especially right now because it is very difficult for me to keep my mind stayed.

Six weeks ago we moved 650 miles from a fairly large house to a fairly small condo. Even after giving two tons, literally, away, we brought too much. We are trying to fit in to this nice but smaller place, and find our way around, and find new hair dressers and doctors and dentists and coffee shops and plumbers and…

Bill and Mike, two of my oldest and closest friends, died within two days of each other. Bill I had been grieving for two weeks, knowing he was dying. Mike had a heart attack and lived for less than two days.

I am preparing memorial services for both of them. I fly to AZ on Tuesday to do Mike’s service. That means booking flights and printing tickets and finding our way into and around strange airports, and packing for strange weather, and all the indignities and anxieties that go with air travel. And remembering to have the mail held, and…

I am also preaching and serving communion Sunday for a friend who is out of town.

My mind flips from serving communion to grieving Bill and Mike to preparing their services to the airport to… It is not stayed!

When I sing, though, especially those simple choruses and spirituals, it stays my mind. Not forever. I have to keep bringing my mind back to a lot of different things that need to be done. But I’ll keep singing… and… well, Allelu, Allelu, Alleluia!

John Robert McFarland

Tomorrow will probably be my last post for a week or so. In the meantime, I hope you wake up with your mind stayed…

The picture is of the Pine Mountain ski jump in Iron Mountain, MI, the highest man-made ski jump in the world. I started reflecting on Christ in winter several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. They are grown up, so we now live in Bloomington, IN.

I tweet as yooper1721.

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