God’s show and tell


Written by ANDRÉE SEU

July 28, 8:49 AM

Last week my neighbor asked if he could borrow my large electric blender to make batches of pesto; his sister has a farm, and lots of basil. The last thing I told him as I handed the machine over was to make sure he doesn’t lose the little rubber gasket.

Today my neighbor comes to the door, returning the blender with a sample of pesto: “Oh, I’m sorry. I lost the rubber gasket.” He left my porch with the promise that he will try to find a gasket online.

Now it just so happened—I kid you not—that this morning I was reading and pondering Luke 6, with special attention to verse 35:

“But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. . . .”

Inasmuch as the whole passage in Luke (verses 27-36) is about love of enemies, this verse does not apply to my case here; my neighbor is not my enemy. I think the evangelist had in mind a person who is normally not nice to you, who is presently in a jam and now comes to you for help because he has no better options. Luke teaches that we are not to say to that person: “Are you insane? You treat me like dirt and now you come for a favor?” No, rather, we are to help the person with a good attitude and without bringing up past offenses.

The lender in Luke probably has good cause to think he will never see the money again, notwithstanding the elaborate protests to the contrary. Luke’s exhortation to the lender is that before he decides to lend the money, he should check his own heart and see if he can do it without harboring resentment if he never sees that money again. He must be prepared to lend as if he is giving outright. The loan may well not be returned.

My neighbor may well find a new gasket online, and I may well get it in two weeks, and it may fit my blender. But I need the blender sooner than that, so I’m going shopping tomorrow.