Sunday, February 6, 2011

Poor Jud is Dead...


Dear Readers,

The musical Oklahoma portrays Jud Fry as maladjusted brooding hired hand who is infatuated with Laurey, the young lady on the farm. Curly, a handsome cowboy, finds himself also in love with this farmer’s daughter, much to the chagrin of his cowboy counterparts who are enemies of the farmers who have invaded the open range with their fences and strange ways. 


Jud tries to come between Curly and Laurey, but when he finally realizes that Curly is winning the courtship battle he becomes more and more menacing. It becomes evident that he is planning some dire consequences if Laurey spurns him.

Curly then tries to focus Jud’s attention off Laurey by enticing him to think about the benefits of committing suicide. He breaks out into song:

Poor Jud is dead

Poor Jud Fry is dead
All gather around his coffin now and cry
He had a heart of gold
And he wasn’t very old
Oh why did such a feller have to die?

Poor Jud is dead
Poor Jud Fry is dead
He’s lookin’ so peaceful and serene
He’s all laid out to rest
With his hands acrost his chest
His fingernails have never been so clean.


The song goes on to tell how much the community would make Jud into a hero if he died, and lulls Jud into joining Curly in the lament. Jud finally breaks out of his trance-like state and reverts back to being revenge-minded.

The story reminds me of myself, and how I will be perceived when I am gone, and why it seems that good things happen after I depart a scene. Some examples would be when I left Berlin, Ohio to live in Mansfield. Berlin soon became a prosperous Amish tourism haven. Also, Hiland High School sports vaulted into statewide prominence. And Martinscreek Mennonite Church, my family church home, went from having a new pastor every several years to having a steady one now for over twenty years and the church has experienced exponential growth.

If I had stayed in Berlin I might be rich now working in the tourism industry. If I had bought a house I looked at in downtown Berlin I could have sold it for a virtual fortune. I could have remained a Hiland sports booster and cheered our teams to about four or five state titles. I could have been a part of the growth of my family church. Why did good things happen after I left? Why? Why? Why?

I am like Jud Fry being lulled into a dirge chant. I am so enthralled with “what could have been” that I forget “what is”, and “what will be”. I moved to Mansfield to go to college, got my degree, have worked at one location for over twenty years, met my wife and son, got married, live in the wonderful home purchased by my wife’s late husband, my wife is an author who just has been accepted by a Christian literary agency to pursue publishing her first book, my son is an eighteen year-old aspiring graphic designer, our family is involved in Mission to Amish People (MAP) ministry, we have an “adopted” former Amish daughter… I could go on and on.

I still have a few aspirations that I desire before people sing over me at the end. I aspire to have many relatives and friends know and pursue a relationship with the wonderful Saviour that I know. I want myself and my family to continue to fulfill God’s calling on our lives, and I want Jesus to say to me, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share in your master’s happiness!” Matthew 25:21.

See you next time,
Arlen

2 comments:

Rhonda Schrock said...

When a man gets a tribute like you just got from your wife, he's been a true success. What a gift!

Soulwinners'R'Us said...

Thanks a lot Rhonda. I have been blessed.