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Three Meter Zone | JD's Bunker | Poetry | Chapel | American Journal

Truth: All Weather Wear


Paul Schneidmill


My Mom, Ferna Mae Schneidmill, aged 74 this August, is the current sitter for the Schneidmill children (Paul and Angela). 


For 5-plus years now, like clockwork, and more reliable than the U.S. mail service, “Nana,” as she is affectionately known by the kids, has come to our home via subway, bus, and on foot, every Tuesday morning of the year (except for two weeks each June when she attends her church’s General Assembly in Tennessee) and stays with us through Friday evening.


My wife and I are blessed to have someone to care for our children while we’re at work who we know without a doubt loves our children.  The kids love and appreciate her as well.  She’s faithful, reliable, responsible, and dependable, and on top of that, she takes excellent care of her grandchildren. 


On Friday evenings, I must arrive home in time for Momma/Nana to catch her 5:45pm bus and thus begin her “children-free weekend.”  There’s a small, informal and unspoken “Change of Command” ceremony that takes place prior to her departure in which I once am again, hand-receipted my kids, so to speak. 


Sometimes, I’m late and have to drive Momma home, or to church, or to where she can get transportation connections, but most times I’m not.


On cold and/or inclement days, as she prepares to depart, I’ll say, “Momma, it’s cold/raining out there. Let me drive you somewhere.  Every now and then, she’ll accept, but most days, she’ll say, “I’ve got my layers on.”               


Translation: Enough clothing to provide adequate insulation and protection against inclement weather.


As a former U.S. Army infantryman who had to live and operate in some of the coldest and wettest locales on the planet, I too know the “art” of layering garments to protect one’s body against the elements of cold, rain, and wind. 


As I thought about Nana’s response, I realized a form of “layering” is also needed when a person or persons tell a lie, or lies.  They must remember the lie(s), to maintain the lie(s), and “layer” the first lie with other lies to support the original lie.  This is necessary for the deception to continue.


In the movie, “A Simple Plan,” two brothers and friend find a small plane that has crash-landed in a wooded area on the outskirts of their rural town.  Inside the plane, they find a dead pilot and a large sum of money – approximately one million dollars.


They come up with a simple plan – they will take the money, wait several months while keeping quiet about their discovery, then, when they believe enough time has elapsed and it is safe to begin spending it, they’ll divide the money and live it up.


Very soon afterward, during a second visit to the crash site, they are discovered by a fellow townsman.  He is murdered by one of the brothers to keep the “simple plan” intact.  The murder is made to look like an accident and the “layering of lies” begins.


When the friend gets greedy and impatient, and begins to make threats about what he will do if he doesn’t get his share, the brothers conspire to kill him.  They end up not only killing him, but his wife as well, and make it look like the husband and wife killed each other.  More layers of lies are “put on” by the brothers.


Near the end of the movie, the original simple plan has unraveled and been revised so much that about a half-dozen more people are murdered, the murders are covered up and lies upon lies are told.  One of the brothers can no longer live with the lies and the killings.  He threatens to kill himself if his brother will not do it for him.  The brother painfully complies.


Finally, the last living cohort of the initial “simple plan,” finds out that the money (ransom money paid to kidnappers) was randomly marked, and when it surfaces into circulation via spending, etc., the F.B.I. will know and apprehend the culprit.  He ends up burning the money.


The truth, however, is constant, non-deceptive, and unchanging.  The truth is compatible for all climates, proper for all purposes, right for all reasons, sufficient for all seasons, can be worn in all types of weather, and never, ever, needs “layering.”


Additionally, finally, and most importantly, the truth is epitomized in the person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6).  If we want to be grounded in Truth, we Christ must live in, and be set apart in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17, 1 Peter 3:15), and we must “put Him on.” (Galatians 3:27, Romans 13:14)


With Him, there’ll be no need for layering.  He is the Truth and we can wear Him whatever the weather!

Copyright © Paul Schneidmill