Cartoon Lesson. As most of you know, I love cartoons. After my quiet time, they get my day off to a happy start. I have always believed cartoonists are excellent chroniclers of human behavior.
My favorite young boys in the cartoons are Hammie in Baby Blues and Curtis in Curtis. Curtis is created by Ray Billingsley, a very accomplished Black cartoonist. Curtis is a happy -go-lucky Black boy whose mouth often gets him in trouble. Billingsley does a great job of developing fun glimpses of family, school, and life in general.
At the end of every year, he develops a Kwanzaa story to celebrate the holidays. I found this year’s story to be profound –partly because it fits my view of the human condition. I will give a paraphrase version of the story.
He begins with a baby born with ears like a rabbit. The child grows but faces teasing, prejudice, and meanness because of his ears.
He becomes very isolated and lonely. One day he is bemoaning the fact that he is a kind person and wonders aloud why others can’t be like him. A magic fish hears him and in talking to him says he will grant his wish. The boy is shocked the next day. Rather than making everyone kinder, the fish gave everyone long ears. Everyone now has ears like a rabbit.
A wonderful thing happened. Now that everyone realized they were the same prejudice went away; people stopped teasing and bullying. They became kinder because they realized they were alike. The last frame in the cartoon was the person wishing we could realize we are all human. Great story. My paraphrase may not have done it service, but I hope I accurately shared the most important idea – if we realize we are all human we have a better chance of fighting prejudice.
January 6 Anniversary. Last week was the two-year anniversary of the January 6 incident at the Capitol. I watched and listened with interest as some people described it as a riot and others as insurrection. In my sermon on Sunday, I made the point that any argument about whether the incident was a riot or insurrection is moot to me because of my faith.
To understand my approach — consider the following: the apostle Paul wrote a letter to Titus within a political context. Paul lived under the rule of kings and leaders as well as Roman rulers.
That means Paul lived under the reign of kings powerful enough to order the deaths of all boys under age 2. He lived under the reign of kings powerful enough that at the request of a stepdaughter the king could order John the Baptist beheaded and his head brought to him on a platter. He lived under the reign of kings powerful enough to demand the crucifixion of Jesus. He lived under the rule of leaders who sought and were successful in having Paul imprisoned. He had just recently been released when he wrote to Titus AND he had Roman rulers.
In spite of that tyranny, he wrote to Titus: “Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men” (and women.)
I do not live under anything even close to tyranny. But, if that behavior is what is expected under tyranny, surely, I am called in my faith to behave similarly. Thus, to my faith it does not matter whether the January incident was a riot or an insurrection – the incident was not being subject to authority; it was not good; it was slanderous; it was not peaceable or considerate and did not demonstrate humility. In the light of Paul’s letter, it was wrong no matter what you call it.
Health Updates: Jeny had a sonagram procedure that showed she did not have a heart valve issue. A muscle has thickened and occasionally hits the valve causing a slight leakage. No surgery is required. Treatment will be medication.
Jerry had a melanoma last year. He has seen the dermatologist every three months. This week he got the all-clear and does not have to go back for a year.
Nice to have good medical news.
People helping people: