Several months ago, I began to notice the Judge Parker comic strip. I don’t know just what caught my eye. It may have been a few written words that reflected a decency that is so often missing in modern culture. Perhaps it was a certain graphic motion that implied a right response to a bad situation. Maybe it was God that set my focus on that well drawn comic script that occupies the bottom panels in our local paper.
I like to read the comics. Though many are distasteful, crude, and lacking in social merit such that I must avoid them, and though others are long-running, adventure-centered political soap boxes that I must also avoid; some provide a clean and gentle relief from daily stress. The decent ones bring forth a pleasant break from the busy workday and the crowded evening hours. They present humor related snapshots into brief moments of the average life. Judge Parker, and a similar script called Rex Morgan, is a morally guided adventure tale penned by longtime writer Woody Wilson. I only recently can to know of him.
Regardless of which storyline moved me to take an interest, I began to read Judge Parker on a daily basis. I watched as the main characters responded to various trials and temptations with what seemed a true Christian attitude. They established high standards, and they lived by them. Rather than sprouting bulling words, Mr. Wilson’s characters motivate the responses of other characters through kind but measured actions.
I began to develop a great respect for Woody Wilson as the mind and the writer behind the Judge Parker comic script. This man, I thought, surely knows the God of creation. Thus I set in my heart to write this article. Yet I was restrained. From within me, arose the voice of the Holy Spirit. “This writer,” He said, “you do not know that he is Christian. Morals are no assurance of Christian faith”.
The voice was correct. Good morals do not make a Christian. I wrote Mr. Wilson a letter. I told him of how much I enjoyed his scripts, and of how good it was to see someone live in the world without behaving as does the world. Then I asked if he was a Christian.
Now since I failed to gain permission to use Mr. Wilson’s exact words, and due to the fact that I do not wish to over burden him with emails, I will not quote his exact response. He told me that he was not a Christian. He said that he was raised to believe in the “Golden Rule”. Thus his comic strips reflect the nature of that faith. His email response to me was very pleasant.
All religions embrace the golden rule. It is the concept of placing oneself into the footprints of another so as to respond to their needs and concerns just as we would for our own needs and concerns. It is a rule that reflects the essence of fair play.
I respect Mr. Wilson’s work. He teaches what many chose to ignore, and what many sometimes even chose to deliberately destroy. In the terms of men, and in the measure of a well mannered society, Mr. Woody Wilson does a great work.
I wrote him a second email. I thanked him for responding honestly to my letter. I also let him know that good works are not the equivalent to having gained saving grace. In every man, the good is tainted by pride, the “Golden Rule” is twisted by selfish view points, and the truth is always hampered by personal wants. I opened a door for Mr. Wilson that he may one day seek to know Jesus. For this purpose, I make myself available. But it matters not who waters the seed, but merely that the seed take a root and grow. I pray our God send yet Christian voice into the life of this kind man.
I praise Mr. Wilson for the work that he does. In a world that is shrouded in confusion, Judge Parker is a comic strip that teaches decency and moral principles. How much greater could be those truths if the author came to know the Jesus of scripture? Let us pray to that effect.