This is a bit of a continuation of the conversation from my Sunday School group that I was relating last week: the-hero-of-the-story-part-one
My wife’s favorite time to eye-roll is when I get a call from a telemarketer or a scammer. If the telemarketer won’t take a simple “no” for an answer, I am often too happy to keep them on the line.
I once read a particularly obnoxious newspaper salesman the entire “Green Eggs and Ham” book, substituting in the name of his paper for the green eggs, and “read” with “eat.” “I will not read it here or there, I will not read it anywhere!” He hung up before I got all the way to the end.
My brothers are better at this game than I am. When one brother was told that the caller’s monitor indicated his computer had a virus, my brother refused to go to the computer until his scammer could assure him that the virus was not contagious to humans.
Great fun. Then I read this article from Readers Digest. (Go ahead, and read it.)
Could I see an internet scammer as the hero of a story? Answer the phone thinking, “How can I love this person?” Probably not.
To be clear: no one is saying we need to fall for the scam – that’s not love either. But to think of the other person as a child of God, misplaced, broken, but still a child of God. Hmmm.
My friend, aptly named Faith, once got an obscene phone call. Her response? Pity. She told the man that she understood how lonely and desperate he must be to making this call. She told him that he was loved; that Jesus wanted more and better for him.
It wasn’t a joke to her, or a way to get the caller off the phone. She genuinely hurt seeing the fallen nature at work in this fellow human being.
I’m still working on that.
The big lesson seems to be trying to see each other as God sees us, rather than how the world tells us to see.
Want to know what that would look like? Here is a scene from Cheers that gives us a glimpse. The scene is with Coach (one of the bartenders) and his daughter. She is engaged to be married to a man that mistreats her. Coach has decided it is time to confront his daughter.
Notice that Coach is not very bright.
And incredibly wise.
May you all have a Coach in your life; and may you see yourself as he sees you.
One of my writing gigs includes delving into Biblical Archaeology, so I was excited when this article by the Babylon Bee was forwarded to me. Who would have guessed that scholars would be able to prove that only the super-encouraging verse in the book of Jeremiah is authentic!
We are continuing the conversation on beauty. Our group talked about the distortion last time. Next we turned our attention to the idea that only 2% of women think they are beautiful.
Peter (one of the Biblical letter writers) talked about inner beauty. It made us wonder how much thinking you are beautiful helps make you appear beautiful.
Which led us to watching this video. (Warning, there are some foul words ahead.)
Among the things we noticed from the experience of watching:
-Many of the subjects lit up upon hearing that they were considered beautiful. Which made them even more beautiful. This is some of that inner stuff leaking out.
-We were struck by the guy who at first lit up, but then decided he didn’t believe Shea. How often do we do the same thing with any received compliment? First feel good, then rationalize it away.
How twisted is that as a defense mechanism? To choose not to believe a compliment rather than risk confirming what we are already thinking.
-Like the woman who got angry; so far from thinking she could possibly be beautiful that she defaults to assuming that a compliment is an attack.
Shea unveils a hidden truism in her experiment – everyone is made beautiful.
God made us beautiful. Yet we struggle to believe this is true.
As people of faith, we know that God made everyone uniquely gorgeous. What if part of our view of evangelism was simply letting people know that?
What if being part of church included feeling like a worthy work of art?
What if when we look at people outside the church, we see their beauty before we see them as anything else?
What would that do for the image of the Bride of Christ?
Me: I’m having my students watch the opening to “Longmire.”
She: Sure. Good movie.
Me: It’s a TV series.
She: Right. The one with the Aussie playing that guy from the south.
Me: From Wyoming.
She: Right. He plays a rancher.
Me: A sheriff.
She: The one with the unicycle.
Me: You’re not even trying anymore, are you?
She: (laughing) Nope.