Rabid Fun

John Cowart's Daily Journal: A befuddled ordinary Christian looks for spiritual realities in day to day living.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A Pain In The Neck

Monday, I scanned a book on the history of Baldwin into my computer.

Today, my neck and shoulders hurt.

Apparently the constant odd movement of turning pages and punching buttons and clicking the mouse exercised muscles I don’t normally use, so I’m sore.

Ah. The burden of preserving history for future generations. Who knew that studying and writing history could be so physically taxing?

Oh, in case you didn’t know, Baldwin, Florida, is a tiny rural community to the west which has been incorporated into the city limits of Jacksonville. It developed from a stage coach stop on the King’s Road and was a staging area during the Civil War.

As I scanned history, a neighbor stopped by to tell me of some tensions about Dolly’s death. Apparently some of the family do not want any outsiders to be involved. They have vigorously rejected overtures by various neighbors.

It seems to be a racial thing.

I intend to walk down to the house anyhow to pay my respects and honor a lady I liked.

Back on February 7th, 2006, (see archives) I posted a blog entry about an adventure Bubba, Dolly and I shared.

I can’t remember the reference, but somewhere in my journals tells about Ginny and me attending a birthday party for Dolly a few years ago. Not realizing that she never learned to read, I gave Dolly a signed copy of my book on prayer. She was so pleased. She said it was the only book she’d ever owned.

I tend to think of my writing as my witness to Christ.

That’s a fallacy.

My writing is my work not my witness.

On reflection, I think that our testimony to Christ lies in three or four areas:

First, of course, is to walk with Him ourselves. It’s hard to lead someone else closer to God than you are yourself. I need to receive from Him before I can pass anything on to others.

Second is the overall tone of my life. My actions speak louder than my words. To glorify Christ, to win others to Him, I need to live my faith from the backbone out — guts, feathers and all. Example counts.

Third — and here’s where the faith hits the fan — is to actually speak about Christ. Observers may think I’m a nice guy or a religious nut or an absolute ass depending on what they see in my life; but unless I actually speak up and verbally share what Christ means to me, then I’m just a slinking Christian. This part is the hardest for me to do. I don’t want to come across as a buffoon boasting about being on an inside track with the Almighty.

In a nutshell I need to spell out the truth as best I’m able. I believe that we, individually and collectively, has screwed up the life God gave us and damaged ourselves terribly in the process. The consequences of what we have done and are doing demanded no lesser Person than God Himself to step in to deliver us. Christ came in the flesh. We killed Him for His trouble. But as Lord of Life, Christ could not be kept in a hole in the ground. He came out of the tomb under His own steam. He is preparing a new start for us. He promised to return and in the meantime He expects for us to behave.

I need to speak up and share these things in actual conversation with the people whoes paths cross mine.

Finally, and this stands way low on the list, I need to reflect His presence in my work. Paul advised Christian slaves in the Roman Empire to be the very best slave their masters owned. The way I work may not always be skillful, but it should always be honest.

For instance, I’m often tempted to embellish history, to make events more dramatic that they really were, to make our Brave Southern Boys victors over the low, no-account, sorry, thieving yankeys. It galls me to admit they were right on major issues and we were wrong.

If I am to witness to Christ, I feel I need to be honest, vulnerable, transparent, and, yes, even vocal.

All this goes against my grain.

I’d rather read about outstanding Christians than even intend to be one.

Be all that as it may, I think my duty today involves walking down to see Bubba and offer what comfort I can, and if the family wants me to leave, I’ll walk away without bothering them and I’ll slip by to see Bubba one day after the funeral.

I’m not looking forward to any of this.

Scanning documents is not the only thing that gives me a pain in the neck.

Please, visit my website for more www.cowart.info and feel free to look over and buy one of my books www.bluefishbooks.info
posted by John Cowart @ 10:06 AM


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