I really do appreciate people seeking justice in the world. It is, at the end of the day, something the Lord Jesus told us to do. One of the rough spots right now is that there’s a good bit of seeking justice with sass.
I was reminded of our present sass business while watching Charlotte’s Webrecently with the kids. I noticed the tale of two Ferns. In the 1973 film, Fern is serious about justice. She pleads with her father not to kill little runty Wilbur pig. “This is the most terrible case of injustice I ever heard of” she cries. She’s cute. She’s told to control herself and she does. And the kicker is her wise father says, “I’ve got a good mind to let you raise this pig. Then you’d see what trouble a pig could be. “She welcomes the challenge and does a fine job at raising the little fella.
Then I caught wind of the 2006 remake. After having my 9 year old daughter watch both clips I must agree with her the 2006 Fern has a fair case of the sassy pants. She is not handed Wilbur by a wise father who is teaching her a lesson. She takes Wilbur out of her father’s hands and says, “I’ll feed you and take care of you and… (to her father) …absolutely will not let you kill him.” She’s not told to control herself. Unlike 1973 Fern, she is not told that her father trumps her in the raising pigs department.
Let this be a lesson in story-telling. 45 years ago, the children who cried injustice learned that they should fix it themselves if given approval by rightful authority. Kids these days are learning to take their authorities’ stuff.
Little 1973 Fern might have been a bit over the top about the injustice scale of Wilbur’s execution. He would have made lovely bacon, crispy, crackly, Zuckerman’s famous pig, oh wow look at him now… oh, where was I? Ah yes – Her cute attempt illustrates how we might encourage those who love God to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with their God. You don’t have to always get it right, just be humble about it.
But for the citizens who are zealous for so called justice with high mind combined with the work ethic of Templeton, to those folks, let 1973 Mr. Arable be a lesson. Greatest injustice you say? Go on and raise the pig then.