I have a question. Ready? Okay, here goes: What do Rebekah (my wife), Naomi (my daughter) and Scout (Rebekah's fuzzy, galumphing, labradoodle) have in common? Warning, this is a hard one!
First off, they're all girls! Right, but that was the easy answer.
Second is the thing that I'm getting at here: they all have this "What you see is what you get" approach to life. Put another way, there's not an ounce of pretense among them.
This means they don't play games (well, Scout likes to play "tug the rope", and "chase the dog with the wallet" but that's not the kind of game-playing I'm talking about).
What I'm talking about is their "lack of duplicity" quality, the "Let's not waste time with airs and political correctness" approach to life. It's the "Cut to the chase why don't we?" (Okay, Scout likes to play chase but that's something else too) response to most everything. It's a kind of purity but not really... It's more like the gift of living without half-measures or the cloudiness of compromise; it's resisting the urge to allow cynicism any room at all.
It's about authenticity. It's about being real.
Jesus did not have one iota of interest in playing games. Consequently, the Master was always able to see right through people who would posture, and feign, and outright lie, and practice duplicity - and these were the kind of people who tend to expect others to act without authenticity and Jesus always threw them.
Liars have a hard time with people who hold to truth. Truth exposes them, and they don't like it one bit. The sad thing is that the truth is also absolutely willing to heal, to love, and to set people free. But - and we'll go back close to the beginning of John's Jesus-narrative for this one - people who operate in the dark are in point of fact pretty much scared of the light:
- "This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed." (John 3:19-20)
We're all going to run up against people like this; it's happening more and more all the time. But the answer is not for us to condemn others, or for us to argue them into submission, or for us to fall into their cynicism trap or to latch onto their toxic way of ordering the world... the only answer is to love them like Jesus loved them - like Jesus loves us. Love is our mandate. It won't necessarily make things any easier, but it will say something critically important to this world about the Lord we profess to follow.
Love and blessings - DEREK