Omelets with "Mostly Fress Eggs"
by Tom Goodman
July 18, 2012
In Montana last month a hitchhiker was shot in an apparently
random, unprovoked attack. In a sad irony, the victim had been hitchhiking across the country, chronicling his journey for a memoir called "The Kindness of America."
A passerby picked him up, and the man survived. No word yet on whether his idealism has as well.
What does a story like this teach us? Should we trust in humanity's goodness, or should we shield ourselves from humanity's badness?
The Bible opens with the formation and the fall of our first parents. God created Adam and Eve in his very image, and as their descendants we hear what the philosopher Pascal called "rumors of glory" in every story of humanity's
capacity for love, loyalty, and creativity.
But we are not simply descendants of image-bearers, we are descendants of fallen image-bearers. Adam and Eve doubted God's leadership and wisdom, and they turned away from God. As progeny of that first fallen couple, you and I are fallen
image-bearers as well. We see this reality in every story of selfishness, betrayal, rebellion, insensitivity, and outright cruelty.
Instead of debating whether people are "basically good" or basically bad," let's agree that people are "basically walking contradictions." Our lives are a canvas on which we paint a brushstroke of love here and selfishness there. We apply the theme
of loyalty on one corner of the canvas and the darker shadows of betrayal on another. We splash the discordant colors of kindness and cruelty on the whole display.
What are the implications?
First, in relation to others, let's avoid the extremes of hard-boiled cynicism and starry-eyed idealism. Cynics miss the beauty in people, while idealists aren't prepared for the ugliness in people.
But we are fallen, too, not just others. So, let the evidence of your fallenness lead you to Jesus. For a moment, set aside the debate as to whether you're "bad" enough to need a Savior: Can you at least admit you're "contradictory"
enough to need one? While few people would claim to be perfect, many people still want to describe their lives as "mostly good." But a restaurant advertising omelets made of "Mostly Fresh Eggs" wouldn't stay in business. Just so, admitting our lives
are "mostly good" should drive us to the amazing grace of Jesus.
Now that's some food for thought!
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