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Figuring out the Father, Son and Holy Ghost

The other day in church, the minister was explaining The Trinity: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Myself, I think I grew up with one of these three being The Holy Ghost. Well, bringing a ghost, especially a capital-lettered Ghost, into my thinking as a child caused a lot of confusion.

As if growing up and trying to figure out everything wasn’t confusing enough already.

Being presented with a Ghost led of course to the first half of my life filled with curiosity about ghosts in general. (Yes, I know, we decided someone blew the translation and changed it to

The Holy Spirit. What fun is that, I ask you?)

Judging from the number of reality shows on television these days, this curiosity about ghosts is still alive, given that you are able to find interesting a bunch of apprehensive hopefuls waving electronic instrumentation and jerky cameras around in dim light.

My interest in reading about ghosts led of course from one thing to another. I read and read.

No Holy Ghost, no matter how hard I looked. Just ordinary ghosts.

I finally found out something to blame for all this confusion while the minister was filling out The Holy Trinity. Suddenly, it popped into my head: An Explanation. At This Age. Wow.

It’s odd that it took me this long to see that my confusion is based on the three pictures that hung in my brother’s and my bedroom while we were growing up. They were: Roy Rogers, with his horse; Gene Autry, with his horse, and Jesus Christ, with his donkey.

The Holy Trinity! Three strong people who right wrongs. Right there before my eyes during my formative years. Confusion. Misunderstanding. Muddled thinking. As you can see, it’s no wonder it took me this long to straighten all this out. Really.

Here’s why. There I am, five or six years old, three pictures. Befuddled. How was Jesus supposed to compete with only a donkey for a steed? Look at Trigger, Roy’s horse. Faster than the wind, I bet. And Champion, Gene’s horse. Run forever.

This is my parents’ fault, for hanging those particular three pictures on our wall. I never asked my Sunday School teacher about any of this. Frankly, I was embarrassed. Running bad guys down with a donkey? This led to even more adolescent insecurity.

Maybe that donkey was fast. Say He did run down an outlaw riding it. Then what? He didn’t have even one gun, much less that double-holster rig that Gene and Roy flaunted, silver conchos gleaming, sequined shirts so shiny in the sun that the bad guys were blinded.

Jesus didn’t even have a radio show. (Well, of course, I know now that He did, but it was on Sunday morning when I was off to church, becoming more confused.) Even so, with no guns?

Couldn’t have been many listeners, not like Saturday morning, when bad guys on the radio had a half-life of three minutes. Yes, I’m showing my age. Radio, not TV.

So there you have it. All my shortcomings, all my muddlements, all my wasted time, just because of three pictures.

I guess it’s a good thing I got all this figured out. Finally.

I’m not getting any younger.