Aaj took me out for lunch the other day.
He’s one of the most open hearted people I know and he and his wife are famous for their extravagant generosity towards everyone they know.
We chatted over curry and a steak and kidney pie in a chippie down the road from my workplace, and on the subject of his generosity he told me a story. It goes a little something like this:
|Photo by striatic|
He has a friend who took the train home from up North down to London after a hard day’s work. Just before he boarded the train this friend bought a bag of 5 doughnuts.
On boarding the train our friend sat at a desk opposite a stranger. To his shocked bewilderment the stranger then opened his bag of doughnuts and proceeded to nibble his way through one, right in front of him! Our friend then took the second doughnut.
This pattern went on for the whole train journey, with our simmering friend slowly boiling from shocked bewilderment to a seething but silent outrage at the audacity of his neighbour.
Finally, just before getting off the train the stranger took the last doughnut, broke it in half, ate it, smiled, and stepped off the train onto the platform.
You can probably guess the punchline
When our friend finally reached his stop, on leaving his seat he looked down beside him, and saw his own bag of doughnuts! He’d been eating the stranger’s doughnuts all along.
So there you have it
The story was such a cracker that we decided to make it into a sketch and perform it at Heart, our relaxed Sunday evening gospel event. We set out a few chairs and tables on stage, projected some carriage scenery behind the set, got some live train sound effects going and enlisted a horde of extras. Scott Watson excelled in the part of our offended friend, while I enjoyed scoffing doughnuts as the generous stranger.
|Photo by Josh and Drew|
I spoke briefly afterwards about how life ain’t fair, how humanity is entrenched in thousands of hostilities, unfair walls that separate, just like the misunderstanding of the mis-owned doughnuts. However, God experienced the ‘ultimate unfairness’ in Jesus’ crucifixion, by which He rights all the unfairness done to and by us.
So, like my friend Aaj, let’s overcome hostility with generosity, and let’s open ourselves to the God who breaks down walls of hostility with His extravagant generosity.