Ponderings by Doug

I gave up Facebook and watching old Perry Mason episodes for Lent. I found out I could live without them. 

Perry Mason is a mind-numbing television show for me. I’ve seen the episodes so often, I know within the first minute, who got blamed and who really did it. When I am stressed, I turn to Perry because he will solve any murder 47 minutes into the episode. If only I could solve problems in 47 minutes. Don’t you wish life worked like that?

I watch the commercials on the “oldies” television station.

Most of the commercials on the oldies stations have to do with drugs. Drug companies have assumed rightly that more mature folks watch the nostalgic television stations. We more mature people will grow even more mature because of the miracles of pharmaceuticals. The drug companies advertise heavily at night. I’m not sure what these new drugs do, but I do know about their side-effects. In truth, the articulation of side effects takes longer than the part of the ad touting the efficacy of the drug.

Ironically, the next most frequent kind of commercial is aimed at people who have taken certain drugs. These are ads by law firms informing folks that if they have been hurt or have experienced ill side effects there might be a legal remedy. The copy for these commercials were written by an agency and not proofed carefully. I have heard the line, “If you have taken this medicine and suffered ill side effect a, b, and c or if you have died…call us today.” Obviously, they meant if your loved one died, but they don’t say it. “If you have died call us.” I have written down that number. I want to call and ask how many dead people have called.

This vehicle called language can amuse us, embarrass us, or get us out of and into trouble. I had a preacher friend who would admonish his congregation to pray for all those “sick in the bulletin.” Now if you have ever had a case of “in the bulletin” you know that the only hope is prayer. There was a music director who would instruct us to “turnover in your hymnal.” Turnover, I can’t even get into a hymnal. Yes, we had hymnals before we had screens.

Our Bible warns us about the power of words and the power of the tongue. Be careful what you say and how you say it, someone is listening or reading. 

Words have the power to heal or hurt. If we are not careful, words can cause all manner of trouble. Word can also be vehicles for God’s love and grace.

Jesus is the Word made flesh. God’s love was clearly spoken in and through Jesus.

That is a Word we all need to experience.


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