blank'/> Liberally Lean From The Land Of Dairy Queen: Barney Got Me A Thinkin'

12.14.2006

Barney Got Me A Thinkin'

Decatur resident and good guy Barney Williamson wrote a Letter to the Editor to the Messenger last week. Barney had fallen in a parking lot of the Decatur Post Office and was almost was run over by a car that was backing up. As he wrote, "The back end of her car moved directly over my head. I was looking up at the bottom of her car. I couldn’t roll out of the way, and there was no way I could push myself away from the car." But a man, who he does not know and cannot identify, got the attention of the driver and stopped a possible catastrophe. But what got my attention was this from Barney: "I have prayed many times in the past 24 hours. I have thanked God for His intervention, for permitting me to live a little longer. I thank God for those people, for THAT MAN. I wish I knew his name. I wish I could tell him personally how truly thankful I am." This got me thinking about God's intervention. I guess in Barney's scenario he (and perhaps most) believe that God stepped in and put the mystery man in a position to save Barney's life. But to believe that also means that you believe God had no role whatsoever in placing Barney in the parking lot at that moment, in that piece of ice being on the sidewalk, in Barney slipping on that ice, or Barney being alone when he fell. It's as if God is generally "hands off", letting the world go in its own natural course, but only intervenes when he sees fit. Which gives rise to some troubling questions when we read about accidental deaths (like the one Barney avoided). In those situations, did God choose not act? Did he see a tragic death about to occur but simply didn't intercede? And the converse question must also be asked: Does God ever set the wheels in motion for the "accidental" death to occur? I think about stuff like this a lot.

34 comments:

Anonymous said...

God is working on you Barry. There are books on this area of theology. You might enjoy reading "Why good things happen to bad people" over the holidays. One of the biggest concepts in God's creation of earth and humans is that he gave humans "free will." The right to make choices. When you combine free will with spiritual warfare (good v. evil or angels v. demons) you get events that make you wonder "why God allowed that". Maybe God wanted Barney to be a witness for Christ like only Barney can be. Maybe there is someone out there that God wanted to reach and Barney and The Man were the best way to do it.

WTF? said...

Have you ever set back and watched events unfold which you knew from your own experience or observation was going to happen? Did you warn the participants? Was it because A) they wouldn't listen to you?, B) they didn't know you?, or C) they needed to learn a lesson?
I believe that G-d works in the same way. We don't listen, we don't know Him and many times we need to learn a lesson.

Anonymous said...

Why pose questions we will never know the answer to until after we die, and then we still may not get the answers to them.

Take my advice; do not take things to seriously unless it comes to your family and there wellness. Drink a beer or a glass of wine when you need it, but don't live by it. Never take the news or world events so seriously that it consumes your life. Finally, just remember everyone on this earth has their own opinion and they are entitled to it whether they are ignorant or educated and most likely you will not be able to change their mind!

doodad said...

i wonder about it also barry. i am a christian but i have my doubts about how much God is involved down here. i mean , if he answered most of our prayers, think what kind of a mess we would be in. we generally want or pray for things that benefit us or comfort us.
i have started to change my prayer requests from God give me this, to god help me to face anything that happens .
like i heard people praise God for breaking the drought . well , do we blame God FOR the drought?
do you see what i mean?
and this bothers me also: the reason i am a christian and not a buddist or muslim or whatever , is because i was born into a christian family. who is to blame or credit for this.

Anonymous said...

barry, you should never go to thinkin cause its a dangerous thang

Anonymous said...

What if G*d wants the Senate controlled by Republicans i.e. Mr Johnson of SD? (I don't believe this is the case but what if?) I would prefer if He took action in a more spectacular fashion like striking Hillary with lightning or letting worms eat Bill. Or making a jackass talk...kinda like Molly Ivins. It might help a lot of our politicians behave.

Anonymous said...

I bet the Democrats put that ice there.

stu-morone said...

11:42 Amen, only God knows.

Anonymous said...

Hey why does god give his most devout followers hell on earth afflictions like Alzheimer's? The reason is there really isn't anybody or anything there. Of course there will be people that say the real reward comes after the suffering. Just keep going through those 10 zombie years. Of course those people still have all their functionality and are too feeble-minded to be able to imagine what its like to be locked in the 1x1' room that your brain becomes.

Hunter S. Thompson had the right solution to old age and waiting for this alleged wonderland. We can't stop here, this is bat country!

Anonymous said...

The way Barney felt about what happened was a personal thing to him. He is a very spiritual man and may have felt that this man was an angel who came by at just the right time.

Barney has helped so many people with his unpretentious character and blunt honesty.

None of us know the mind of God, but I am very glad Barney was spared. We need more folks like him in this world.

Anonymous said...

Oh hallelujah! I do believe in Dog, I do believe in Dog......he just made a Jackass type, and it's 12:13PM.

betty boop said...

Our ways are not God's ways and God's ways are not our ways...I believe simply that there are some things we will never understand in this life. And I too, regardless of how or why it happened, that Barney is okay...he is a wonderful man who has helped many people, including myself.

betty boop said...

And I too, am happy that Barney is okay...sorry for the typo :)

Anonymous said...

I don't even know Barney, but I too am glad he is okay.

Anonymous said...

Legitimate to think about these things. And frustrating is the concept of prayer vs "it's all predetermined" (so why pray?)...God cures cancer apparently, but doesn't cause it to begin with. With most religions, there's almost always an "out clause" that a believer can throw out there, creating a fuzzy, illogical patch over what we might see as a gaping hole in the idea that there is a God, Christ, etc. For example, "well..you've just got to have faith"...or if bad things happen "it's because of free will". And what makes it all the more frustrating is there seems to be over generations these handed-down ideas, or being preached to once a week, rather than people actually reading the darn Bible and being inspired personally. Adam and Eve were not the first people put on earth, for instance, it's right there in Genesis, but try telling someone that next time you go to church.

Anonymous said...

This song answers the question and says it all for me.....


FRANKIE LAINE lyrics - "I Believe"

(Ervin Drake, Jimmy Shirl, Al Stillman and Irvin Graham)

I believe for every drop of rain that falls
A flower grows
I believe that somewhere in the darkest night
A candle glows
I believe for everyone that goes astray
Someone will come to show the way
I believe
I believe

I believe above the storm the smallest prayer
Will still be heard
I believe that someone in the great somewhere
Hears every word
Every time I hear a newborn baby cry
Or touch a leaf
Or see the sky
Then I know why I believe

Every time I hear a newborn baby cry
Or touch a leaf
Or see the sky
Then I know why I believe
(Why I believe)

wordkyle said...

Pascal had the right idea.

Anonymous said...

I've really enjoyed the posts on here today. Its been reallly civilized, and mature.

Anonymous said...

12:49 - who knows why certain people get Alzheimers, cancer, strokes, commit suicide, etc?

Many folks who have been through these kinds of things come through them much stronger and kinder to their fellow folks. Since this thread is about Barney Williamson, what this man has been through has resulted in his life being used to help so many people.

It's all the way a person handles these things, and personally without God, I don't know how they get through it.

And Barney knows about God.

What a guy!

Anonymous said...

Pascal was a darned good programming language, for it's time.

Anonymous said...

-- lol @ 2:27
-- Interesting thought wordkyle

Barry an awesome book on this stuff is "Letters from a Skeptic" by Greg Boyd. It's really good and answers many questions like this.

Anonymous said...

We will never be able to understand God and His ways. Just keep praying and believing in what you do and everything will be alright. God is everything and we are nothing. Our minds are completely incapable of understanding such an awesome God. Just know that love is God and God is love.

Anonymous said...

It's a proven fact that most people not all! Who get cancer have a lot of unforgiveness in their heart or bitterness. Now I know what you're thinking, I konw so& so they were not bitter etc.. and they got cancer, like i said most not all. But then again NO ONE KNOWS THE HEART BUT GOD!

God good devil bad!
God does put cancer on people, to teach them anything, if something bad goes wrong in your life, it's not God at work ( read the Bible)

How many parents would put something bad on their child? Or let something bad happen to them? Not one parent would, and God loves your children more than you do! If you have a real relationship with the Father,you tend to hear His voice more clearly. I believe the Lord (Holy Spirit) talks us 24/7 but sometimes we are to busy to listen.

The Bible says it's God's will that we all live a long life!

It's also His will that none should die and go to hell with but we all have choices we make everyday! Good or bad we make them!

that's why Jesus said the road to hell was wide and many follow, the road to eternal life is narrow and not many follow! think about that one! Or you truly saved? Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you!

Anonymous said...

1:06pm Molly-I didn't know you read LLFTLODQ. I figured you were a follower of Dog, seeing you were made in his image. Take care on rainy days or you'll end up extra crispy sooner rather than later.

Anonymous said...

I believe in Cause, Effect and INUS.

J. L. Mackie argues that usual talk of "cause", in fact, refers to INUS conditions (insufficient and non-redundant parts of unnecessary but sufficient causes). For example, consider the ice as a cause of Barney slipping and falling down. Consider the collection of events: the ice, and the proximity of the car and driver. Considered together, these are unnecessary but sufficient to potentially create the scenario of Barney's head getting smashed flat as a pancake, since many other collection of events certainly could contribute to such head-smashing. I.e., me seeing MzCreep, and having a baseball bat handy.

Within this collection, the ice and the car are insufficient but non-redundant parts (since the ice itself, or the car and driver alone, possibly would not cause the head smashing, but in this instance, the potential head smashing would not happen without all items). So the ice is an INUS cause of Barney's head almost being smashed by the driver of the car who was unaware of him. The effect, (altho circumstances are not clear, I can darned well bet Barney was yelling his head off) resulted in the unknown gentleman coming to his assistance.

Just my $5.00’s worth.

Anonymous said...

Wow, someone got a philosophy degree and actually read The Cement of the Universe along the way! Good stuff.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't read that letter to the editor. You are welcome, Barney!

Anonymous said...

Extra Karma points to 6:22PM if you are "that man".

mzchief said...

Hmmm....
PERHAPS God is the collective consciousness of ALL believers and EXISTS due to the mere fact humans BELIEVE in God.

Anonymous said...

mzchief- i don't believe in you therefore you don't exist. What great logic is this? ps- God posts- we call it the Holy Bible.

Anonymous said...

This subject also came up in my bible study class this past Sunday morning. The best reason I can give for why God saved Barney from being ran over but did not prevent him from the the fall that led to him almost being ran over is that God uses everyday situations to reveal Himself to us. It is hard to understand how tragedy fits into God's plan but the fact is that we live in a imperfect world where Satan has free reign. God uses worldly experiences to test our faith, to teach us a lesson, and to reveal Himself to us as well as others. Our purpose for existing is to create and grow our relationship with Christ. I truly believe that God knows each of us intimately. The Bible tells us that He knows the number of hairs on our head before we are even born. Therefore, he knows what the future hold for us. The Bible also tells us that God's timing is perfect. When bad things happen it is easy to wonder where God was in the situation... but when good things happen do we take time to thank His for His involvment in the situation? The only real answer I have is - FAITH- believing what you cannot see!

anonymouse said...

9:47..hmmm and here I though PEOPLE wrote the bible...DUMBASS. JESUS!

Anonymous said...

Was Barney yelling his "near-to-be- pancaked head off", or did he just lay there, waiting for divine intervention?

Anonymous said...

6:27 - drive by the old Decatur Jail, right behind the Methodist Church in Decatur and meet Barney. He's likely sitting there waiting for those who have come for help.

This is one tough man, and if you think what he went through with nearly having his head bashed in with a vehicle is tough, just wait until you open your mouth....

He will have you figured out before your mouth utters one word.