The Old Fool Judges his Judging

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Power and Glory

This morning the spokesman for a radio commercial promoting a beauty salon noted the colorful fall leaves and declared that women’s hair should also be colorful. The Old Fool formed a hasty opinion: women were being squeezed into the world’s shape. (The Old Fool reminded himself that change is often a slow process. He should not prematurely judge squeezers or the squeezed. Our journey is our own.)

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See the pink?

Recently a member of Borderlands visited a beauty parlor. The beautician asked if she would allow a pink color on a few strands of her hair in recognition of women cancer survivors.  She allowed it.  Borderland members are not easily squeezed by worldly pressures.  But this was different. This squeezed her in the direction of being like Jesus who mingled with victims and survivors.(Not everything is as it appears to be.)

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The neighbor’s glory

When CMC’s Men’s Fellowship invited the chaplain of Elkhart County’s police and firemen to speak to them, he came in his fireman’s uniform and introduced himself as an associate pastor of a Baptist church.  I have certain negative opinions of Baptists in general, and I am suspicious of uniforms. (Baptists tend to be too enthusiastic about their evangelical fundamentalist beliefs.)

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Yellow on Red

In the Q and A time I asked the chaplain how he  related to those in his care who were Muslims, Jews, or atheists.  He said he does not try to change anyone’s beliefs. He just tries to be Jesus to them. (I repented, almost in tears. Why do I so easily judge before at least engaging in conversation?)

This morning I went to my barber for a haircut.  He asked me what had been occupying my time. I told him first about my  hopes for the day:.play games, and help My Joy entertain “our” children for dinner.

I said that if he really wanted to know what occupied my time I would tell him although it involved theological thinking. He was quiet while I told him about Mennonites fixation on a phrase in Romans 12:2: be not conformed to this world. It taught us how to dress, and how to do other peculiar things just to be different.

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Clearing the lawn of leaves

I talked about transformation and even attempted a tiny lesson from ancient Greek language. We were alone so I sang “come into my heart, come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”. He remembered the lyric from his childhood.  I assured him that it was wonderful to have Jesus in the heart, but that wasn’t enough. The heart must inform the mind, and the mind must become  willing to change.

As I paid him I said, “you cut my hair and I gave you a sermon.  Do you want me to come back?” He assured me that I could come back any time. And added that I made him feel good because he learned. To read more of my thinking about nonconformity and squeezes click here.  Does the result of a squeeze mold me to be like Jesus?  If it does, shouldn’t I welcome it?

About Martin Lehman

I was born 92 years ago, the son of a Mennonite pastor and organic gardener in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. At age 10 I was baptized as a member of the Marion Mennonite Church. I own the "Old Fool" moniker because I want to walk the Jesus Way even though the world and much of the church takes me as a fool for doing so. In my life I have moved from being a young conservative to an elderly radical. I tell that story in My Faith Journey posted on my website.
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