Saturday, August 27, 2011

Good News Brownies

I've just started reading Here If You Need Me, the memoir of a woman (Kate Braestrup) who went to seminary and became a chaplain for search-and-rescue workers after her husband died unexpectedly in a car crash. I'm not too far into it, but so far it's a very good read and an interesting look into a life of somewhat unconventional faith.

One passage in particular really touched me. Just after the author learned of her husband's death, a person came to her door with a religious tract, asking "Have you heard the Good News?" The authors neighbor, who had answered the door, slammed it in the young man's face. Then, Kate writes:
A few minutes later, the doorbell rang again. This time, I answered it. It was my neighbor, an elderly woman I had exchanged no more than a dozen words with in the ten years I'd lived in Thomaston. She had pot holders on her hands, which held a pan of brownies still hot from the oven, and tears were rolling down her cheeks. "I just heard," she said.
That pan of brownies was, it later turned out, the leading edge of a tsunami of food that came to my children and me, a wave that did not recede for many months after Drew's death. I didn't know that my family and I would be fed three meals a day for weeks and weeks.... All I knew was that my neighbor was standing on the front stoop with her brownies and her tears: she was the Good News.
This is exactly what I think Christianity should be: loving our neighbors. But it's so easy to let those opportunities to show love pass us by. Or, in my case, to make up excuses for not doing things. For example, if I were the old woman I'd probably say to myself: "Oh I hardly know her. She doesn't want me coming over with my brownies." But that one small gesture stayed with Kate for years. It's worth it to make that effort. And the worst thing that could happen is that my brownies might be rejected and I'd have to eat them all myself. I think I can live with that. ;)

1 comment:

Jenn said...

Thank you for this post, and the incredible reminder of the calling God gives us to act.