Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Monday, October 26, 2015


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

Our conference leader, I’ll call him Bob, told us about what happened following another conference he had led. It was several hundred miles from his home, but it had been more convenient to drive than to work out flights. When an old friend learned that on his way home that Bob would be passing near the town where the friend pastored a church, on the day of the men’s prayer group, he asked him to speak to the group.

Bob did not want to do it. He was tired. He wanted to get home. To make it worse, there was an old farmer who prayed so long about one Clayton Barnes [not real name] that Bob didn’t even have much time to speak.

“Oh, Lord, you know Clayton Barnes is a good man, but Clayton Barnes has fallen on hard times, and I’m afraid Clayton Barnes’ll leave his wife and little children, because Clayton Barnes can’t get a job, and Oh, Lord, if you could just do something for Clayton Barnes, because Clayton Barnes can make it if Clayton Barnes is just patient…” and on and on. Bob said he was totally sick of the name of Clayton Barnes by the time he got back onto the road and headed for home.

Several miles along the way he saw a hitch-hiker. It was a blue highway, not much traffic, not many ride possibilities, and the guy looked okay, so Bob picked him up. They chatted the way strangers do, and the young hitch-hiker began to tell him about his troubles.

Bob did a U turn.

“What are you doing?” the hitch-hiker said.

“You’re Clayton Barnes.”

The young man shrank against his door.

“How do you know who I am?”

Bob sighed and said, “The Lord sent me to take you back to where you belong.”

John Robert McFarland

I started this blog several years ago, when we followed the grandchildren to the “place of winter,” Iron Mountain, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula [The UP]. I put that in the sub-title, Reflections on Faith from a Place of Winter for the Years of Winter, where life is defined by winter even in the summer! [This phrase is explained in the post for March 20, 2014.] The grandchildren, though, are grown up, so in May, 2015 we moved “home,” to Bloomington, IN, where we met and married. It’s not a “place of winter,” but we are still in winter years of the life cycle, so I am still trying to understand what it means to be a follower of Christ in winter…

I tweet as yooper1721.

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