Earlier this week the grey skies, rain and cold, seemed as though they had settled in forever. I set out for work each morning in a raincoat and armed with an umbrella. Like other Ontarians we switched between a brief fling with the air conditioner and back to the furnace.
Tori came upstairs one morning before school. "Omie, can I borrow an umbrella?" she asked.
Waiting for the school bus at the end of the road can be a miserably soggy business.
I gave her one of the set of two umbrellas I bought from Costco a while ago, with a caution to remember to bring it back. She nodded her head and thanked me and went downstairs again, clutching my favourite stylish black and white collapsible umbrella.
A minute later, after a "God prod," I followed her down.
"Darling," I said, "You can keep the umbrella."
Her eyes widened, "I can? How come?"
"Well," I said, "I have two, and you know what Jesus teaches about that?"
At that moment she didn't.
"He says that if we have two coats we should give one to a person who has none. And if someone makes you carry a load for them for one mile, you should carry it for two. So, the umbrella is yours."
I am not sure if I made a lasting impression, but God gave an opportunity to demonstrate a Kingdom principle through action and I took it.
Today I read the next chapter in our cell group study of The End of Religion by Bruxy Cavey; chapter 10, "Thy Kingdom Come."
Bruxy put it this way: when it came to the"carrying the load for someone else" scenario:
".Jesus taught them..if a Roman soldier commanded them to carry his gear one mile, they should obey the command, and then offer to carry it a second mile ( Matthew 5: 38-47;Luke 6:27-36). The first mile is slavery. The second mile is freedom."It is so radically counter culture to give freely. But I can, because...:
10 ...every animal of the forest is mine,
and the cattle on a thousand hills. (Psalm 50:10, New International Version)
...and the one speaking in that psalm is my source of provision. He is the source of my goods, my energy, my gifts, talents, everything. He is not about to run out of anything and neither will I if I am what he intends me to be: a channel for his resources to those in need of them.
And this is freedom.