Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Lesson Learned

The photo is another view of two of Frank's curing barns. I took the photo in April 2010.

Life has been hectic lately. It’s also been frigid here. A woman was in my office today and she complained about the weather. “Aren’t you from Michigan?” I asked. “Yes,” she said, “I’m from Michigan, not Minnesota.” The snow is sticking around and I have been able to get out regular on skis. I skied twilight this evening, a favorite time of the day with nice color across the skies. As I was coming in as the first stars were popping out. I wrote this part below as I was thinking about Uncle Frank, but I didn’t include it in that piece as it really has nothing to do with Frank, but with my cousins and me.

I must have been around 11 or 12 years old. My brother and I were staying with our cousins on their farm; the four of us boys were sharing the same bedroom. We’d been joking around for much of the night, when we should have been sleeping. Instead, we found ourselves talking quietly and saying things boys shouldn’t but do. It was then that I called one of them a fool. I don’t even remember who it was, but Tim, my youngest male cousin immediately said that I was going to burn in hell. That’s a sobering thought when you are a kid. “How do you know?” I asked. He said it was scripture. “Show me,” I demanded. Tim got out his Bible and I think we put the lamp on the floor between the beds so that no one outside the room could see that we had a light on and Tim started looking. And he continued looking. He kept thinking it was here or there, flipping the pages back and forth, but he couldn’t find the passage and soon we went on to other topics. Everyone forgot about it, except for me. But then, I was the one being threatened with hell-fire; this was serious business in my world. Then next day, at my grandparents, I got out a Bible and with the help of a concordance, I searched and was shocked to read “if you say, ‘You fool, you will be liable to the hell of fire.” (Matthew 5:22) I didn’t share my new discovery with anyone, but I’d heard enough about hell in my short life that I made a change. Just in case I wasn’t too late as I didn’t like hot weather even then, I stopped calling other people fools. And to this day, I am bothered by that word.


  1. LOL @ that woman's response to you. I get annoyed when people say to me "But aren't you from Wisconsin?" Yes, I am, but that doesn't mean I have to like crappy (cold) winter weather. All it means is that I was born in Wisconsin.

    Man, I've never thought of "fool" in that light before. I guess I think of it like...well, normal people, lol. Truthfully, there's a lot in the bible I don't know. More than I do know.

  2. Now that makes two...shortly after I met my husband he informed me....never ever use the word fool around me, okay then? He made the point stick with me, and every time I hear it I think of that one and only conversation we had on the's really not a nice meaning, and can't think of any place where it should be used so I don't use it either! Good news, except for ice dams around and I'm pretty sure we have one, but we're in for a heat wave in Minnesnowta!

  3. I've never thought of the word "fool" to be of significance that way. There are some similar words though which tend to rub me the wrong way.

  4. Some words carry a lot of baggage, that one carries a mirror.

  5. Context context context...What was it Jesus was saying before and after that statement and why would he say that calling someone a dunce is playing with a lawsuit but calling someone someone impious, not of God is playing with the fires of hell and the other curse?

    But then read on and what does he say...Hey don't come to God and the altAr (thanks)asking for forgiveness if you know that someone has a case of anger against you or you them, he said to go fix your human relations first then come and fix your relation with God.

    In this case particular I doubt that you have much to fear of hell fire but now you are an adult and there is so much foolishness around how can you not be doing the world a disservice by calling it out?

    I remember (off topic) tobacco barns in Southern Ontario where they used to grow Canadian tobacco. They too are all gone now.

  6. It's interesting that one his age knew that. And I don't think it is ever a good idea to call people names, so that was a good lesson.

  7. TC, it is odd to be a Southerner who likes winter, people think I'm crazy

    Karen, be safe getting those ice dams removed. I have that to do today

    Hilary, I think it's the use of the word in a belittling way that makes it "damnable" Anytime we belittle another, we don't honor the "image of God" within them

    I will remember that saying--this word carries a mirror! Thanks.

    Mark, obviously, my cousin (who is a couple years younger than me) didn't get the context to the deeper meaning of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount." As for those old type of tobacco barns--which the leaves were cured on stick, I saw some in Honduras a few years ago, still being used!

    Lynn, Obviously, we went to different Sunday Schools :) And it was a good lesson--not as a way to avoid hell, but as a way to honor others.

  8. Sage

    I don't want to be in CONTEMPT of Court- saying a disrespectful word in anger to a Brother or Sister in Christ, and not be able to offer a GIFT to God! Matt 5:22-30

    Raca- FOOL-An Aramaic term of contempt, usually used against other Bro & Sis's of Christ, ie. other Disciples, be it man or woman--you will suffer the consequences until you make it right...

    vs. 23 “Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, 24 leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.

    Whenever you see the word "Therefore"--go back to the previous verses and see what it's therefore!!! But you know this!! Sorry to get preachy--

    I pity da Fool! Mr T!

    Good stuff! You got me back in the Word!!!!!


  9. Sage-- I did not mean to begin to try to correct you! But it made me look it up and study it! Thanks Man!!

    After reading your comments--I wanted to make sure you knew, that I knew, that you knew.

    Who Knew?



  10. Michigan, not Minnesota. I got a laugh out of that. Down here we don't separate those two states out much for the cold.

  11. Reminds me of how I felt the day some kid in school started talking about the unpardonable sin.

    I don't see anything wrong with staying away from "fool," as you say, just in case.

    In other barely-related news, Rocky III was on the other night.

  12. Truly, when one needs a bit of sobering reflection, the Sermon On The Mount is a good place to start.

    Thank God for Grace.


  13. Ahhhh....childhood memories. It has just been in the last couple years I'm trying to wrap my head around the CONTEXT thing. Up til then...I was going to burn in hell for eternity for all I have done. Not a great way to live. just curious? Did you call her a "fool" in your head?;)))

    Glad to hear you are out skiing....Me Too:) Thinking I will go out tonight when the snow gets a bit more frozen as it is soft and sticky during the day these past couple of warmer days. And I think it's been brighter out at night too!
    Happy skiing:))

  14. I am happy to say goodbye to winter and hope it is on its way out. In my field we often have to be careful what we say. The slightest things can be taken out of context or taken the wrong way. Fool is one of those words to avoid.

  15. I recall learning that particular Bible verse as a boy and probably still feel like I'm blaspheming whenever I use it, but like other cuss words, it has its place in this crazy world. "Judge not and ye shall not be judged" is also worth remembering.

  16. It's a good thing Jesus came, because I'd surely be burning in hell for a lot of things.

    It's not good to belittle anyone, ever. I'd never heard that verse, but I like it.

  17. Well, that's an interesting story. Some things really stay with us, don't they? I'm like that with the F word. I was five when I used it not knowing what it was and got hell for it at home. I don't mind hearing it but I've only used it a few times in my life (so far). lol