Life is full of mysteries. Some are diabolical, such as the unsolved disappearance of a young woman on Valentine’s. Some are extremely curious, such as the appearance of a poem and expensive flowers from an unknown admirer. In between the good and the bad are the mysteries that confuse and confound. Why do we talk about so many great values and yet perpetuate scenarios of exploitation, greed, and selfishness?
A simple scene played out on the train. Management designated certain cars to be mobile-free zones. The point is to encourage conversation and mutual respect. I try to avoid using my mobile in these cars, if only out of courtesy. On this particular evening a media relations manager was talking through a situation with one of his stakeholders. Several of us glanced when the call started, certain that it wouldn’t be long. Ten minutes later, a voice gaining momentum, even I was annoyed. Someone politely pointed out the signs posted on every window, and asking that he end the conversation, move it to another car, or at least keep it quiet. The return stare was at best dismissive. The conflict had just begun.
There was a principle involved to help us all. It may not seem like much but I find the sound of people chatting their way through time refreshing and full of hope. Mobile phones do not achieve the same end; in fact they are, including the times when I am on the phone, annoying to everyone around! Yet the rule is also an offer.
God has given us an offer. Jesus’ words and life can be summed up as follows. “I came to save the world. But you need to know that whoever puts me off, refusing to take in what I'm saying, is willfully choosing rejection. The Word, the Word-made-flesh that I have spoken and that I am, that Word and no other is the last word.” (John 12.48)
Some see this as a mystery. I see it as the ultimate scene of compassion played out by a God who defies my understanding.
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