Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Tuesday, February 2, 2016


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

“While you were busy concentrating on Kylie Jenner turning 18 and getting a tattoo, Malala Yousafzai turned 18 and opened a school for girls.”

That was a post on Facebook not long ago.

How demeaning it is to the wonderful Malala to mention her second. Her inspirational life and her good works stand alone. But it seems that people these days are so negative, so hostile, that they cannot even celebrate something good except by first comparing it to something bad.

Another post I saw not long ago was a picture of Jackie Kennedy with the notation, “This is how a classy first lady looks, Moochelle.” It would be easy to address this first by declaring that Michelle Obama is very classy in her own right, and that calling her a name tells us more about the name-caller than about Mrs. Obama. Also importantly, though, is the terrible insult it is to the equally classy Mrs. Kennedy, to use her as a springboard to insult another first lady, or anyone else.

If you think you are so superior to the Kardashian Jenners and people who follow their exploits, say so. If you think Mrs. Obama is not classy, say so. But do not insult amazing girls like Malala and classy women like Jackie by using them to insult others. That is mean, cowardly, and stupid.

Hostility and anger now are so general and unfocused. We are mad at everybody about everything. That unfocused anger is summed up in the “you” in the statement above. The poster assumes that everyone, no one excluded, was concentrating on Kylie Jenner turning 18. I don’t even know who Kylie Jenner is. I am not part of the “you.”

That unfocused anger is why we fall for any political candidate whose anger is just as unfocused and general as ours is. All he or she has to do is tell us all our problems are because of “them” and we fall for it.

For Christians, this is a Jesus issue. For Christ, each person is a “thou” and only a “thou,” never a “them.” [1] Jesus said, “Let your yes be yes and your no be no.” [Matthew 5:37] If we hide behind someone else to sling our barbs, we are not being Christ-ians.

John Robert McFarland

1] English has lost a lot by amalgamating personal pronouns, including the impact of Martin Buber’s great, I AND THOU.

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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