Friday Fuel: Dealing with Enemies, Death, and the Circle of Life

March 21, 2014

Spring is in the air.

The trees are budding.

The grass is greening.

And Fred Phelps has departed.  Circle of life.

Seriously, between Fred Phelps’ death and Mark Driscoll’s apology, that was pretty much the bulk of my blog reader this week.  I will be commenting next week on one of those events (I don’t like to shoot my mouth off in the thick of it, you know.)  It was a big week for two guys who a lot of people would label “enemies,” but with this week being my Spring break, I just couldn’t get too caught up in all the hooplah.

When the sun is shining, life is too good to stay angry.  At least, that’s what I think.

There were several good blogs on both subjects this week.  Here’s a bit of what fueled me.

Leaving Westboro

You don’t have to go far to find people basically saying “Good riddance” or “may he burn in hell,” but I find it much more interesting to read the other reactions to Phelps’ death.  Caleb Wilde, my favorite blog-writing funeral director wrote what was by far my favorite piece on the whole subject.  Leave it to a guy who spends his life around death to write the best death-related blogs.  Leaving Westboro Baptist Church.

Mark Driscoll Is Not My Pastor

The other biggest story of the week was Mark Driscoll’s public apology, listing a litany of past wrongs.  It wasn’t an open letter, which means he wasn’t apologizing to you and me or people who just don’t like him, but people he has personally wronged.  On the one side, I don’t quite get the breathless enthusiasm so many people showed (except that they were probably already Driscoll fans), but I also don’t buy this idea that he owes all of us something.  People on the other side of the fence will never be satisfied.  Lore Ferguson had the best analysis of the ongoing Driscoll saga: Mark Driscoll is Not My Pastor, But I Have One (And Other Uncool Things to Say Online.

What Do We Do With Enemies?

When it comes to stories like these in which the protagonist is seen as an antagonist, these posts by Michael Perkins and Jeremy Statton are extremely timely.

On A Lighter Note…

And finally, because it is Spring (finally), I think this is appropriate to share.  Short stories are one of my favorite things in the whole world.  I have, however, never been interested in poetry.  Until just lately.  I don’t like many poems, just a very specific kind of poem that I have yet to nail down.  This week, I really enjoyed Trees by Joyce Kilmer, written almost a century ago:

I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.


That’s what fueled me this week.  What about you?