[ WordBytes of Franciscan Moments ]

Saint Francis of Assisi: Franciscan MomentsI was eating coleslaw with my fried shrimp and God told me this: “Look at the coleslaw. Taste the coleslaw. Try to get your tastebuds beyond the mayonnaise and pungent vinegar to concentrate on the coleslaw itself. What is the main ingredient in coleslaw? Cabbage! The coleslaw started out as a head of cabbage. Is the cabbage now in the slaw changed in any way because of the other ingredients that are mixed in with it? No, not really. Not at all. It’s still cabbage. But you didn’t order at the restaurant a head of cabbage; you ordered coleslaw. Why? Because cabbage that is finely grated and mixed with things such as mayonnaise, vinegar, salt, sugar, and spices appeal to the taste buds much more than a plain piece of cabbage.”

I wondered, “Yeah… so what is your point, Jesus?”

cabbage is used in cole slaw“The cabbage that’s in the coleslaw is no less of what it was created to be than when it was a head being picked out of the field or when it was only a seed being planted in the soil. But, if the cabbage did not give up each stage of its existence (the seed becoming a sprout, the sprout growing into a head, the head chopped into slaw), it would have never have become a part of a meal on your plate.”

We are good because God created us good. He doesn’t make junk. No matter what happens to us in life, we are still, in essence, what God created. This is true of everyone, even those we don’t like, even those who hurt us. Jesus said, in the Sermon on the Mount, “Do good to those who harm you.”

So I asked Jesus what the difference is between doing good for someone who hasn’t harmed us and someone who has. He said, “When you do good to those who haven’t hurt you, what in that shows that you belong to Me? It’s easy to love those who are easy to love. There’s no work in that and you don’t need Me to help you with it. But try to love the unlovable and guess what! You need Me to help you. And when you need Me, you come to Me. And when you come to Me, you get to know me better.”

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© 2000 by Nancy Gardner Viola
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