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
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:
A Letter to the Editor
Sharon Decker’s letter to the editor of the Star Tribune (Nov. 17, 2022) poses vexing questions.
Lord, let me know my endPsalm 39:4-6 NRSVE
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.
Gordon C. Stewart, public theologian, author, Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness (2017 Wipf and Stock), Brooklyn Park, MN, Nov. 30, 2022.