I Was Thinking…
There were two old men living in the backwoods of east Texas named Rufus and Clarence. They lived on the opposite sides of the river and hated each other. Every morning just after sunrise, Rufus and Clarence would go down to their respective sides of the river and yell at each other. “Rufus,” Clarence would shout. “You better thank your lucky stars I can’t swim or I’d swim this river and whup you!”
“Clarence!” Rufus would holler back. “You better thank YOUR lucky stars that I can’t swim this river and whup YOU!” This shouting back and forth across the river happened every morning for over twenty years.
One day the Army Corps of Engineers came along and built a bridge. Still, every morning for another five years this yelling ritual across the river continued until finally Mrs. Rufus had had enough. “Rufus,” she squallers one day, “I can’t take no more! Every day for the past 25 years you’ve been threatenin’ to ‘whup up’ on Clarence. Well, there’s the bridge…have a go at it.” Rufus thought for a moment and then said, “Woman, I’m gonna do just that. I’m gonna cross that thar bridge and I’m gonna whup up on Clarence.!”
He walked out the door, down to the river, came to the bridge, stepped up onto the bridge and walked halfway over the bridge and looked up. Then suddenly he turned around and ran screaming back to the house, slammed the door, bolted the windows, grabbed the shotgun and dove under the bed.
“Rufus!” cried the misses, “I thought you wuz gonna whup up on Clarence!” “I was, woman, I was,” he whispered. “Rufus!” cried the misses, “then what in tarnation is the matter?” “Well”, muttered terror-stricken Rufus, “I went to the bridge, I stepped up on the bridge, walked halfway over the bridge and looked up,” “And?” asked Mrs. Rufus, breathless with suspense. “And,” continued Rufus, “I saw a sign that read, ‘Clearance, 13 feet 6 inches’ and he ain’t never looked that big from the other side of the river!”
Isn’t it interesting how much difference a letter or two can make in a word? It is also very interesting (and true) how much difference a person or two can make in another person’s life. Thank you for the difference you are making in the name of Christ in this hurting and broken world.
May the journey of this liturgical season of Lent continue to make a difference in all of our lives!
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