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soupAllow me to make soup today, Minestrone I think, what the smart alecs at my house would call kitchen sink soup, a little bit of everything.

First off, John Lewis  did a wonderful post called, A Little Shelter, that really captured my heart, reflected some things that have been on my mind lately.

I left a comment that fit in with his wisdom, his theme of soldiers, “There is a war going on, but we need to be very careful not to make people the enemy. I suppose it’s a bit like sending troops to do relief efforts after a natural disaster. We’re there to do some rescues, deliver supplies, and treat the wounded, not to shoot the collateral damage.”

I really am a bit like a battle worn Christian soldier on the front lines, surveying the damage from some epic storms. One thing I have learned from this battle however, wisdom I have gained, is that we must use our weapons wisely, morally,  and responsibly. We are like those troops engaged in a relief effort, attempting to love the world’s collateral damage. Storm damage. People are not the enemy, they are victims of the enemy.

Don’t shoot the collateral damage! Also, friendly fire is an appalling thing, it targets the wrong enemy. Oh yes, a big part of the Christian walk seems to involve evading friendly fire. I actually have to pick up my Sword of Truth, not to wield it against non believers, but to protect myself from my own side.

Harsh but true. And any brother or sister worth their weight in gold, will tell you to do just that.

Second in the soup pot today we have Pastor Wilson,  in a post quite comically called “the meaning of love”,  He says, “Hard teaching creates tender hearts. Tender teaching creates hard hearts. The jackhammer of the Word breaks up our hard hearts. The feather duster of the Word leaves our hard hearts just where they were.”

Totally, because if you just study the ancient Greek, you will eventually discover that what the Apostle Paul really meant by “love,” was actually, “punch them in the head.” Over the years we’ve just gotten confused and weak with all this mushy “agape” stuff. Good news! What the bible really means by, “love your neighbor,” is that you are actually mandated to cheerfully go forth and just, punch them in the head.

Doesn’t that just make your heart sing? All in good humor here, but it sure makes mine sing! I could solve a whole bunch of problems rather quickly if I could just embrace the idea that we are called to punch people in the head and “jackhammer us a few hard hearts.”

Amen! Except…… No.

I’ve written about this myself, about how I often have the urge to do delicate brain surgery with a sledgehammer. If it doesn’t fit, we can just make it fit! I suppose that is very similar to just taking a jack hammer to hard hearts, so I can hardly complain that someone else shares that urge.

Big difference however, and I’m going to pull rank here, but I happen to know better.  Jackhammering hard hearts tends to kill more patients than it saves. Like the Lord is just yelling down at us, “Stop helping! I got this! You’re just making things worse. In fact, you’re actually creating more collateral damage in the world and aiding and abetting the enemy.”

Don’t bring a jackhammer to what amounts to  delicate heart transplant surgery.

I said I’m going to “pull rank here” because it fits in well with my military soupian theme, but in truth I honestly believe the feminine heart tends to be quite a bit wiser about the softer side of Sears, like how you go about creating a little shelter and relief for the world’s collateral damage, the enemy’s chew toys, the battle weary seeking hope and healing in Jesus Christ.

Male and female He made them. Toss out that spiritual harmony, that perfect balance, that Divine tango, and what you are often left with is actually a tragedy, but a somewhat comical one, because it just never ends well.

Peter, you can’t just whack off a man’s ear. Poor Malchus! And Jesus says, “Put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?”

We share the hope of that cup with the world, the good news, the Blood of Jesus Christ that was spilled for us. He invites us in, He invites us to His table. Sadly, much of the world’s storm damage tries to come to the church seeking refuge, and just gets met with the jack hammer of truth and the sledge-hammer of hostility.

“The church” is not a building, it is not an empire, it is us. It is on the internet, on facebook, and in our neighborhoods, it is at work, at play, and even flipping us off in traffic sometimes. “It,” as in what people see of “the church,”  is not always so charming.

Don’t bring a jackhammer to a battle best won with a feather duster. You tend to just kill the patient. Heck, half the time you actually take out your own men. It’s like trying to  spray the broadside of a barn with a shotgun while blind folded.

Also, said collateral damage tends to flee to my neck of the woods, bearing a great deal of hostility and resentment towards both the church and Jesus Christ Himself. I would be quite delighted if we could just cut down on the flow of broken hearts that were jack hammered and cast out.