Chappy’s corner “A little misunderstanding!”

Like the Hatfield and McCoy’s, Ole and Clarence didn’t get along.  Ole lived on one side of the river and Clarence on the other side. Every day Clarence and Ole were shouting at each other and every day did Ole would complain to Lena, his wife and say “someday I’m going to give that guy, Clarence a good punch in the face!” For weeks it went on like this, but then one day Lena told Ole, “You talk about punching Clarence well now is your chance.  They just built a bridge from our side of the river to the other side.”  Ole heard that news and said, “That does it I’m going there right now and give that guy what he deserves.”  Ole took off, but a few minutes later he came back and sat down in his chair.  Lena looked at him and said, “Why didn’t you go over there and do what you said you were going to do to Clarence?”  Ole replied, “Well when I started walking over the bridge I saw a sign that told me “Clarence was 12 feet!”  So I turned around, because he never looked that big to me from this side of the river.”


Ole misunderstood the sign on the bridge, but he is not alone. Misunderstandings happen all the time. One person says something and the other person either hears it incorrectly or takes it in the wrong way.  Sadly many folks don’t seek clarification.  Instead they react without knowing the “whole story”.   They jump to false conclusions that are based on false information.  Rumors spread and reputations are damaged because of a misunderstanding.


For example many folks misunderstand what Soldiers do or what Law Enforcement officers do.  They see such folks carrying weapons and so they see them as people who kill and destroy.  That’s a big misunderstanding. Law enforcement personnel are there to serve and protect.  Military personnel are there to defend the lives and freedoms of others.  Both groups are designed to provide security and peace.  But when a few officers or military people do the wrong thing with weapons, then a big misunderstanding takes place.  People look at police and see them as killers or Soldiers as murderers... People misunderstand because they don’t see the whole picture.  


The same can be said about who Jesus is. Some saw him as a teacher, a prophet, a miracle worker, but few saw him as their Savior.  Even today many misunderstand who Jesus is.  They think of him only as a great prophet or teacher like Gandhi or Buddha.   For me and millions of others Jesus is God’s very own son who left the glory of heaven to become a humble servant who was obedient to His heavenly Father even when it meant dying on a cross.  Jesus suffering and dying on the cross paid the price for people’s sins so we could be forgiven and have a life with God.  Jesus life, death and resurrection give everlasting life to all who believe in Jesus as their Savior.  


Misunderstandings happen all the time, but hopefully if people take the time to hear the whole story, or to sit down and get the other person’s point of view less misunderstanding would happen.


I’m not sure what misunderstanding Ole had with Clarence that started the feud between the two of them, but maybe if one or the other had taken the time to visit or clarify the facts, maybe the feud could have been avoided. The apostle St. Paul wrote, “If possible so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.” (Romans 12)  Those are inspiring words, but the truth is getting along with others is sometimes easier said than done. But if we follow Jesus example of putting others ahead of ourselves and taking the time to listen to others before we make judgments, then maybe there would be a little less misunderstanding in this world.

That’s just my thoughts from this SE corner of South Dakota!

God’s Peace in Christ