No One at the House – Look For My Combine in the Field

Last week, it was my turn to get a hold of my old neighbor, Ed, in Saskatchewan. When I phoned, I got the answering machine. Its message said, “No one is at the house, look for me on the combine in the field.” When I called back later around midnight, Ed was just finished his late night snack, and about ready to head off to bed. He had combined until ten p.m. before quitting for the day. Never too tired to talk, my old neighbor was pleased with the good news I had for him.

Ed and I have one solid connection, and that binds us together as brothers. We both are loyal fans of that great western television program of the past, “Gunsmoke.” It was based on a radio program of the same name that, served up the best and worst of frontier life. Marshall Matt Dillion kept the peace in the rough and early Dodge City. The stories included much more than a Dodge City location. The story settings varied from frontier settlement homesteads, to empty grasslands and valleys, to deadly deserts, rocky cliffs, treacherous rivers to cross, hidden trails and dusty towns.

The television program ran from 1955 until 1975 which proves it had more substance than good guys in white Stetsons and bad guys in black ones.  I had to tell Ed that we have a television channel here where I can watch Gunsmoke every day. My old neighbor needed to know that because he is planning to visit us this fall. When he is tired of fishing, hunting, golfing, curling and bowling he can watch Gunsmoke. Sometimes good future prospects keep getting better and better. The only hitch I can see will be if Ed stays too long for his visit

Some mock westerns as nothing more than fistfights, gunfights, bar brawls, stage holdups, and bank robberies. Is that so different from watching some of the news today? No matter what time or place we talk about, past or present, there is always a shootout between the best and worst actions of people. There always is a struggle that everyone faces between choosing between right and wrong. Our actions come from good motives and bad ones. There is always a need for justice and fairness, the protection of the weak and innocent, the need for public and individual safety whenever we live.

One thing that is evident to anyone who reads the Bible is that God’s word never hides the bad behavior of us human beings. Yes the Bible talks of betrayal, trickery, robbery, lies, jealousy, anger, hatred, adultery, murder, injustice and war. Marshals, judges, and jails can never eradicate evil motives and actions. Wrong continues to happen. No one always does what is right and never sins with the exception of, Jesus. God had to step in and provide a lasting and complete answer to the wrongs of others and our sins. God’s answer to wrong is forgiveness. Jesus paid for all sins or wrongs by his death and shed blood, so that goodness would overcome evil. Forgiveness is more powerful than evil, but few believe it.

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