Monday, May 21, 2007

Falwell and Fire

I'm drawing a link between Jerry Falwell and the extensive fire in the BWCAW.

The fire did burn thousands of acres of forest. But many more thousands of acres are still beautiful and the lakes are still beautiful. The fire is mostly under control; the resorts are opening up; most of the Boundary Water entrance points are open.

The many business people and their employees in the area fear that people's perceptions of the fire will cause them to look elsewhere for their vacation time this summer.

Now to Jerry Falwell. My perception of Jerry Falwell is based on the sound bites and small dibs and dabs that I have seen on the news, many of which have seemed to me to be over the top and/or judgmental. Yet he founded a college and grew a church and many people, obviously, have found his pastoral leadership to be valid.

I've read a number of blog entries on his passing that were written by people of a different political persuasion. They were, for the most part, honest about the differences and also grace-filled in recognition that we all fall short of the Christian ideal.

I know that the supposed Luther quote about "sinning boldly" is often taken out of context. However, I think that the basic meaning might well apply to Falwell' work. Is it not better to try to make a difference in this world, to try to promote one's beliefs, to try to change lives and politics, to try to help people, knowing mistakes will be made in trying? The other course, that so many of us take, is to NOT try because we don't know enough, we're not smart enough, we're not Christian enough, we don't have leadership qualities, we don't know the right people, excuses ad nauseum.

Whether we make a little difference or a big difference in this world, lets not sit on our hands. We ARE the hands of Christ in the world.

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