How does a blog post go viral? You just might be surprised. Last December I was watching “A Charlie Brown Christmas’ with my kids, and realized that Linus drops his blanket, or rather flings it, at the exact moment he says, “fear not” while reciting the Christmas story from Luke 2.
It was fantastic! I had never noticed it before. I wondered, had anyone? I let my kids finish the show, (who am I kidding, they let me finish the show) then after rewinding it a few times I was amazed at the symbolism that had been hiding there for 50 years, and decided it was certainly worth sharing. I took about half an hour to write about it, posted it on my website for my family and co-workers to read, and went back about my usual business of drinking coffee and doing whatever else it is that I do.
The next morning, I was shocked to see that over 100 people had already shared it! Soon it was 500. Then it was 1,000. A few days later it was on crosswalk.com, then The Gospel Coalition, then Lifeway, then it was being discussed on radio stations in places I had never been before, trending it’s way around social media and just about every other Christian media outlet. It wasn’t long before pastors from all over the country contacted me to ask if they could share this article with their churches on Christmas Eve, and I can think of no higher honor than that.
This insight about Linus and his blanket continues to be shared more times and in more places than I can even keep track of at this point. It is exciting that it has been so relevant to so many people, but I think I’m starting to know why.
First, the timing of when Linus drops the blanket is just super cool. Although we may never know if Charles Schulz put it there intentionally, it seems difficult to believe he didn’t. The blanket drop allows us watch a classic favorite in a new way, with new emotions and deeper insights added to the strong feelings we already had about it. As a guy who worked for years as an English teacher, this is golden.
Secondly, it is a strong visual reminder of the false security we all so desperately cling to, and how we can let go of it. Our world is undeniably filled with fear. We fear for our kids, we fear for ourselves, we fear the other political party, we fear the future, we fear uncertainty, we fear losing, we fear failure, we fear being misunderstood, we fear what others may think, we fear a lot of things.
The year that has passed since I wrote “Drop The Blanket” has been filled with all kinds of things to cause fear and insecurity. A year later, we have to ask, are we still holding on those false securities and fears, or have we learned to drop the blanket and trust in the angelic message to “Fear Not!”? I am thankful that this long ago message of the Saviour’s birth is still wonderfully true.
My big question is whether all of us who have been so impacted by Linus and his now famous ‘blanket drop’ have really been able to drop our fears throughout the year. I am amazed and honored that Drop the Blanket seems to be entering the realm of Christmas tradition for many people, but my true desire is for it to become a reminder of how to live everyday, especially when it is hard to do so. I struggle with that and I bet we all do.
But nonetheless, letting go of that security blanket every day is important. Trusting that Christ is bigger than the things that we are afraid of is important. Letting go of fear and holding on to faith is important. I need to do it. We all need to do it, and we will all be better for it. My earnest prayer for you this Christmas and in the year to come is that no matter what you may face, you will be able to daily Drop the Blanket and Fear Not.
If you have a story of how you were able to Drop the Blanket in 2016, please tell us about it it in the comments or share on facebook. I would LOVE to hear how you have dropped whatever blanket you have been carrying!