A Vapor that Vanishes

“For what is your life? It is but a vapor that appears for a little time and afterward vanishes away.”

Letter of James 4:14b RGT

A Vapor or a Mist

The Letter of James’ answer to the question of who and what we are is unexpected by those trained to believe one’s life is more than a vapor that vanishes away. Other translations render ‘vapor’ (ατμις) as a mist or smoke that vanishes or disappears. The NT Greek word ἀφανίζω,v can be translated as vanished, snatched out of sight, extinguished, destroyed, consumed, or deprived of luster.

When the luster fades

When a megalomaniacal public figure’s media echo falls faint, the spotlight dims, and the luster fades, an ingrained, well-practiced defense mechanism takes over: When a critic attacks, project onto the critic what you yourself are and fear becoming — an irrelevant psycho.

What you are, and fear you are becoming

General John Kelly being sworn into office with President Donald Trump and Mike Pence.

Former White House Chief of Staff, retired US. Marine Corps General John Kelly, claims that his boss, the former president, tried to use the FBI, the IRS, and other federal agencies as weapons against perceived enemies, former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, among them.

The former president’s spokesperson refuted Kelly’s claim with the defense mechanism and tone to which the world has grown accustomed:

“It’s total fiction created by a psycho, John Kelly, who . . . made it up just because he’s become so irrelevant.”

DJT spopkesperson

A Letter to the Editor

Sharon Decker’s letter to the editor of the Star Tribune (Nov. 17, 2022) poses vexing questions.

Photocopy of Letter to the Editor of the Star Tribune Took you a while, GOP

Lord, let me know my end
    and what is the measure of my days;
    let me know how fleeting my life is.
Surely everyone stands as a mere breath. Selah
     Surely everyone goes about like a shadow.
Surely for nothing they are in turmoil;
    they heap up and do not know who will gather.

Psalm 39:4-6 NRSVE

Gordon C. Stewart, public theologian, author, Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness (2017 Wipf and Stock), Brooklyn Park, MN, Nov. 30, 2022.

6 thoughts on “A Vapor that Vanishes

    • I do love a smile, others’ or my own, and need to be reminded often, Eeyor soul that I am -:). Thank you for the reminder to look on the bright side of life. There are lots of smiles these days that make God frown. “Woe is me,” says Isaiah in then temple, “for I am a man of unclean lips!” Isaiah is then commissioned to go out and live a prophetic life — a life that draws from the knowledge of God and ourselves. In short, when God frowns, the appropriate response is to contribute to the work that turns the frown into a smile. Just my thoughts. Thanks for returning to Views from the Edge. I’m always surprised that people do. And thank you for taking the time to share your reflection.

      Like

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