A Bag of Cuties and a Box of Cookies

A Bag of Cuties and a Box of Cookie Mix can Change the World.

HUH? Yes. Don’t jump ship yet. What if a bag of Cuties and a box of store bought cookie mix could be one of the unknown catalysts in solving our world problems? You probably think I’m nuts but I wonder if it just might be the answer so many of us need. OK, well maybe not the “answer”. But a tool if you will. Deep? Maybe not. Thought provoking? Stick with me here for a moment.

I, like many of you (I imagine) have worked through lots of emotions regarding the current state of the world we all find ourselves living in. And like it or not, we are all here. In this present hour. At this time. And perhaps even, for such a time as this. And you know what… A bag of “Cuties” {you know, those little things that are cuter than oranges and taste better too} and a “box of cookie mix”, have been an ironic welcomed reminder for me in guiding my response to all the unknowns. My response to the distress of the rumblings. The questions. The voices. Have you heard them as well? I know the answer and it’s Cuties! Really, Kristin? How spiritual is that?!

Not long ago I found myself having to bake cookies. It was a lesson that was not welcomed at the time – to be quite frank. I didn’t want to bake cookies. I am terrible at baking. And since I am truth telling here I would rather buy the beautifully wrapped, decorated cookies in which someone else baked – for me. But I HAD to bake some cookies. So, with my pre-packaged, totally non-organic box of store bought cookie mix, I started the baking process. For the love of man. I baked. No seriously, for the love of man.

So here is the deal, and something I recently heard echoed. Having a soft heart in a cruel world is courage, not weakness. And being kind is always a good idea. It’s one of the most attractive qualities I believe humanity can wear.

My husband and I found ourselves with someone in our home who was in distress. A person hurting. Who needed listening ears and a loving response. An available pillow for a few nights, a welcomed stay and a place where refuge could be found while a deep work had time to plant.  So, while long talks were had. I made cookies. Now this post is not meant to be in a boastful tone. So if you are hearing that – just pause and stop the drama in your mind if your thoughts are going there. But I want to make a point.

Point one. We must choose to keep our door open DESPITE our feelings.

Let me just insert this disclaimer because it helps my point. I didn’t agree with anything this person was doing at the time. Nor did my husband. I was upset with their actions. At times, if I were to be real honest… I wanted to slap them silly in hopes to wake up some “sense” in them {reminds me of some others that I’d like to do the same to}. But, our door remained open. Why? Because love breeds room for even the unlikeliest of conversations to be had. It builds a necessary bridge that connects individuals who may otherwise find a common thread. Even with those with whom one would rather shut the door on. It’s ok to say we want to, but let’s not.

Point two. Servant-hood is the purest form of leadership.

When disagreements are in place – serving the other is not only a GOOD place to start it is the RIGHT place. An opened door and a simple warm cookie created a space that week for hospitality to do its part. Now hear what I am saying. It doesn’t have to be a cookie. It can be any branch that says… come. Let’s sit at the table together “despite our differences”. This “branch” if you will, gave room for something miraculous to transpire. For guards to let down. And for grace to win its battle. The simple task of serving {insert whatever you desire here} set off a spark which ignited THAT kindness – created a safe environment for a strong, honest conversation to be had with grace as its umbrella. It disarmed yet built up. Now this cookie didn’t say – “your actions are right”. It also didn’t say ” I am a know it all and have all the answers”. It simply extended an invitation.

Taking the form of a servant first is one of the greatest lead-ins we have to reach people that frankly have a lot of questions. Hurts that are uncommon, yet dysfunction that are common place. This servanthood posture says … I am going to go against the norms and respond to you in the way you least expect it. Because I answer to a different Kingdom. I am going to love you. Period. {loving your neighbors and your enemies rings a bell here as well}.

Ironically…

In the face of “change” I have witnessed doors closing. The door that says, come, let’s dialogue. The door that says, you are welcomed here. The door that has grace built into the frame. The door that says even though we don’t agree – I am going to and I WANT to welcome you in so that we can talk. So come. The door that says, I am going to love you well enough in hopes to connect you with the only one who IS LOVE and actually has the answers we need. What astounds me is the very ones who should be modeling this are the very ones leading the “shut the door” movement. So let’s stop it.

Jesus called us to live a radical life. And often times, despite how we really feel, the calling leads us to be uncomfortable, to leave our agenda and to love those who we would, well rather not. He called us to model a love so pure that it goes against worldly standards that is expected. And at times – almost appears ridiculous. To extend a hand to the broken, to the marginalized, to the junkie, to the ego, to the complainer, to the one with a different view, to the one on the other side of the aisle. YEP. Because one day, those aisles are not going to matter.

What if. WHAT IF. The Church. His Bride. Decided to stop arguing. How life-changing would it be if we stopped being so obsessed with what “should be” and actually started “being” the bridge builders. The connecters. The “I will love you anyway, to connect you to the answer, type of people”. What if we stopped sharing our opinions so that people could see a loving God that says come home? Could it be that by our constant back and forth (with one another) could or has, set us up to miss the opportunity to love those who really need it? What if what people saw IN US was not our current agenda, but actually the person. Our Savior. Jesus. Passionately compassionate, building a community that pointed people to the truth, HIS truth, in grace. With a cookie in one hand and a bible in the other? I don’t know about you but it was and always has been HIS kindness that has led me to repentance. I also have never met someone who received grace and truth-telling from a jerk (but seriously).

You see, loving humanity must always prevail no matter what the cost. Especially when it is uncomfortable. So I guess I do have an agenda here. I posted it recently, and while “a thought” that I didn’t author – I will own it and embrace it with due diligence. And I pray more will do the same. “When you have more than you need, build a longer table, not a higher fence.”

Oh right. The Cuties. Cause I know you are wondering. They have a permanent residence on my counter, always in stock. Because I expect people, whether young or old, to come into our home. Freely. And I always want to have something for them to eat. To grab with no ask. That isn’t processed or in a box. 🙂

Let us love well.

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