Iron Mountain ski jump

Iron Mountain ski jump

Saturday, September 10, 2016


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

I am reluctant to use the wheelchair escape as the title here. It is not the important feature, but that was what first really got my attention.

We were visiting daughter Mary Beth in Chicago last week. I was watching the TV news. A retired pastor in a retirement home had shot another retired pastor over “a religious argument.” Then he “escaped on a motorized wheelchair.”

I posted about it on Facebook. It was ludicrous. Hilarious. The sort of thing that happens in a sitcom, not in real life. Two old preachers, arguing over supralapsarianism vs sublapsarianism, [1] and one shoots the other and escapes in a wheelchair. It doesn’t get any funnier.

Except, I learned later, the old preacher who was shot died. At 80 years of age, one dead and one a murderer. Not so funny.

Old people often complain that younger people don’t understand that we are the same people we have always been, just in weaker bodies. We have the same needs, for love and companionship and acceptance and hope.

We usually don’t mention that we have the same sinful tendencies, the same argumentative spirit, the same assumptions that we are right and others are wrong, the same anger.

St. Augustine said that “the so-called innocence of children is more a matter of weakness of limb than purity of heart.” The same can be said for the so-called wisdom of old people, more weakness of limb than purity of heart.

Yes, we have the same needs as always, including the need to submit our will and impulses to the will of God. We never get too old for that.


1] I don’t know if the subject in dispute was actually supralapsarianism, but Dr. Wilkey says that is the argument that usually gets out of hand.

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