December 18, 2012

:the one where love looks like diapers & cigarettes:

we sat around the table sharing stories that never quite have an ending. questions that never fully get answered. yet even in the incompleteness of it all, encouragement roamed the room. one spoke of his encounter with a stranger recently while leaving a restaurant. the stranger came up to him and said,

hey it's christmas, you got a gift for me?

to which he replied, i have half a pizza here, you can have it.

nah man i don't need no pizza. whatch you got for me?

i don't know man, what do you want? you want a forty?

he went on to say i would buy him a forty and follow it with give the man a strong drink.

everyone gave a raised eyebrow, gave a nod and went on with the sequence of unfinished thoughts. their voices and laughter turned to white noise as i sat on those words for a while. how would jesus handle that? obviously the man needs so much more than a strong drink. honestly where will that get him? is that really doing good? surely that's not how we should practice the way of jesus?

i came home and searched the scriptures and there it was, the sayings of king lemuel.

Let beer be for those who are perishing,

    wine for those who are in anguish!

Let them drink and forget their poverty

    and remember their misery no more.
provers 31:6-7

maybe my friend is on to something.
maybe practicing the way of jesus looks nothing like we think it should. 

shane claiborne shared another unorthodox approach to this subject in his book, irresistible revolution.

a young guy, went door to door in an apartment complex, sharing the love of jesus. he knocked on one door and a lady with a cigarette in her mouth and a naked baby on her hip answered. he began his presentation of the gospel and she slammed the door in his face. discouraged, he walked away. in the midst of his discouragement and questioning he had an epiphany. running to the nearest market he bought a pack of diapers and cigarettes and went back. he sat on the floor and smoked a cigarette with the lady. 

again my mind wrestles with these truths. surely jesus didn't mean this when he said love your neighbors? surely this isn't how the gospel is meant to be presented? then i come back to the lines drawn in the sand in defense of the one the law said to stone. i come back to dinner with guy that stole extra from everyone for himself. i come back to wine at the wedding. i come back to healing on the sabbath. i come back to acceptance of the unacceptable. his life didn't always look good to those around him. he looked like a rebellious, law breaker to many. when he was actually expanding our perception of what love should look like.

sometimes it looks like a forty.
sometimes it looks like diapers and cigarettes.
sometimes it looks like lines drawn in the sand.

let us do the same.

*just writing with heather today


  1. Love this! Such a beautiful reminder that the most thing we can do is to love - unconditionally. Love is such a powerful thing and you expressed it perfectly! Thank you for sharing!

  2. huh, you totally got me thinking! Sometimes it is super hard to understand what we are supposed to do is not to look like we are supposed to look.

  3. bam. right there.
    you gotta way of writin' and the straight truth to write. amen to expanding our perception of what love would look like.
    it sure ain't yo mama's religion, but it sure breathes life to me.
    so glad i stopped over from Heather's. really nice to meet ya.


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