We were drinking morning coffee in bed the week before Christmas. Cam wandered through to our room and duvet-wrestled for the space between us. Murray was telling me about a crazy-true-story book he was reading. A British woman spying for the French Resistance during World War 2 has to go into a brothel to capture a German officer, et cetera.
We talk about All The Things with our kids, whenever The Things come up. So I thought,
Ah. Teachable moment.
‘Do you know what a brothel is, Cam?’ I asked.
‘Um… A soup kitchen?’
His fantastically plausible linguistic leap led to three thoughts:
A brothel and a soup kitchen are vastly different establishments. When Jesus was on Earth, He hung out with the frequenters of both. Then He died for them. The ground at the foot of the cross is flat and I’d do well to keep standing there, barefoot.
Brothels are about sacrificing another to feed your need. Soup kitchens are about sacrificing yourself to feed your neighbour.
Jesus said, ‘Let’s lose your life – and go save so many!’
Soup kitchens, for the win.
It’s a beautiful thing to be a little naive – wise about what is good, and innocent of evil. I want to greenly, gullibly believe the best as much and as often as possible – like that it’s actually an option for us to change the world.
And for said world change to materialise in this New Year, I’m thinking we’ve got to keep reminding each other that Jesus is the great Need-Meeter – source of peace and joy, and hope of all the world.
We’ve got to remind each other, for every instance of evil we encounter, to find a way to pay goodness forward. Not chicken-soup-for-the-soul schmaltziness. (Which isn’t soupy. Just cheesy.) But rather, grace-and-grit decency – the kind that overcomes evil with good.
‘Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.’
(Romans 12:21, MSG)
. . .
Happy, happy, happy New Year! Let’s make 2020 brilliant. Start by having a fantastic weekend!
And please *pay this post forward* to someone you love.
Here’s what’s on the menu if you’re reading this in an email: