Week of August 3rd, 2020

All of us have been very much affected by the “stay at home” policy that has been placed upon us by this “bug” that has invaded our world.   

            I’ beginning to think this thing better hurry and end because I’m afraid it’s starting to cause some serious problems in my life.

            I’m talking about serious SPIRITUAL problems.

            Let me explain.

            In the mid to late 60’s I was a “hot shot” young preacher newly ordained to preach.
I don’t admit to having any great talent or gift when it comes to preaching but I had watched some preachers that I thought were good examples of what a preacher ought to be. Some of those preachers, as I remember, were old seasoned preachers and I thought they knew what they were doing. None of them were “clergymen” in the strict sense of the word. They weren’t “reverends.” They were just good ol’ preachers going about their task of preaching.

            They seemed to especially like preaching about “sin” and consequently addressed much of their preaching toward “sinners.” It was evident some of them were experts in the field of “sin.”

            I guess there was a list of sins somewhere that somebody kept up to date.
Keeping the list of sins up to date was a full time and often difficult job.

            Remember, we’re talking about the 60s and 70s. They were the days of “rock and roll” and psychedelic drugs. Booze was available to everybody regardless of age. It was the “love generation” with everything that went with that! Sex seemed to know no bounds.

            The preachers were in “attack mode” during those days. I found myself becoming one of them. I soon learned that “good church people” wanted to hear sermons about the sins that were being practiced openly, boldly, and without any shame.

            One of the “sins” high on the list was long hair that was becoming noticeable on a lot of men and boys.

            That’s what I said—Long hair.

            A little known song has been written to illustrate this “sin” of long hair. The song is “If Your Hair’s Too Long, There’s Sin In Your Heart.” The song encourages the guilty to “get it cut today and make a new start.” It also tells the story of a “rich young ruler” who “came one day to ask about the narrow way; but his hair was too long and he couldn’t be saved.”

            I must confessed that I addressed the subject of long hair on several occasions in my preaching.
            And, now look at me!

            I’ve been shut up for weeks without having a haircut and my hair is long enough to hide my ears! I don’t know if I’ll start wearing a pony tail like Willie Nelson or just go all the way and do a man bun!
I’ve become such a sinner with this lockdown! Could it be that my hair has become too long and there’s sin in my heart?

            Woe is me!

            My long hair might be the least of my problems because I haven’t “been to church” for almost two months!
            Based on what I’ve heard preached by some preachers; I’m certainly bound for Hell because I haven’t been to church in such a long time. One of the best known televangelists says that my not going to church is because I am filled with fear and that fear “is a magnet for sickness and disease” and that I am “giving the Devil a pathway to (my) body.”

            Woe is me!

            There’s just one more thing I’ll mention about what this sheltering in place is doing to me.
            Ever since I became an old man and attained to ol’ codger status; I’ve been one of the sweetest, kindest, gentleness, and considerate people you’ve ever seen! I’ve really tried to be that way in my marriage. But, I see some problems developing that I need to tell you about.

            Gale seems to have a problem with some of my new found habits and actions brought about because of “Rona” having come on the scene.

            Folks, I’ve got my nights and days mixed up. Since I have not had much to fill my daylight hours; I’ve been staying up late into the night and early mornings. That seems to be causing a problem because I have found myself laying in bed till rather late in the mornings. (OK, sometimes the morning is already over with before my feet hit the floor!) Sometimes that means that I’m eating breakfast around 12:30 p.m. or 1:00 p.m. So, here she is trying to decide if she needs to fix breakfast or lunch. And then, she can’t understand why I have had no problem eating supper sometimes as late as 11:30 at night! My thing is: what difference does it make?
            Another thing: Why do I need to change my clothes every day? I ain’t going anywhere and I’m not going to have visitors on my front porch every day. I try to tell her that socks have had a bad reputation for their smell ever since men have been wearing socks! And, a little dark circle around the neck of a shirt just adds another dimension of color.

            I’m asking myself if I might be developing a little bitterness toward her for calling my attention to all these unnecessary details.

            The Bible doesn’t look upon a husband being bitter toward his wife. But, this being shut up in close quarters for extended periods of time seem to be turning me into a bad husband.

            So, the bottom line is that it looks like I’ve become a non-church going hippie with long hair who has turned into a lazy husband.

            I sure look forward to this virus being a thing of the past. If not, I may not have much of a future—not now or in the hereafter.

            Woe is me!

 

                                                                                                                                                            -Harlan