By Rev. Dr. DAREN FLINCK
I admit it – I am sometimes easily amazed. Take our weather this last year for example. I’ve lived in the northern tier of the United States long enough to know we missed something that didn’t drop. Truly, that amazes me because usually, something else drops when the weather goes like that – a "what goes around comes around" kind of reasoning. But, like almost everyone else, I’ll take this weather – it’s been phenomenal. I’ll take it even though a part of my upbringing still says, "wait for the other shoe to drop."
Where do such phrases come from? People who know more about this than me point toward some references made about the World War II effort during the mid-1940s. The New York Times of March 1921 printed this line: "If nine out of ten of us hadn’t heard that ‘drop that other shoe’ chestnut and molded our lives accordingly for the sake of the neighbor below us, what would be the end of us?"
But one source tells the following story: A man comes in late at night to a lodging house, rather the worse for wear. He sits on his bed, drags one shoe off and drops it on the floor. Guiltily remembering everyone around him trying to sleep, he takes the other one off much more carefully and quietly puts in on the floor. He then finishes undressing and gets into bed. Just as he is drifting off to sleep, a shout comes from the man in the room below: "Well, drop the other one then. I can’t sleep, waiting for you to drop the other shoe."
This story sounds as plausible as any. The key is that in waiting for the other shoe to drop, people are saying that they are waiting for bad news to come. In fact, they are almost expecting it.
This week followers of Jesus Christ will stand in amazement once again as they remember how God dropped the other shoe on the sphere of death. They recall the story of how Jesus was tried, crucified and died for reasons that sometime escape them. They celebrate the amazing story of an empty tomb and what it actually means – a gift called amazing grace. The amazing part of the story is that the news isn’t bad at all. For believers, it’s great news.
Perhaps you will be in that circle of persons who will stand amazed. Perhaps you are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.
No need to. It already has. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.
The Rev. Daren Flinck is pastor of St. Croix Valley Methodist Church in Lakeland.