Editor’s Note: Contributor Christine Moughamian is blogging each day of Lent about her progress becoming “one brave Christian.” Follow her experiment on Twitter @1bravechristian.
Who said we had to give up chocolate for Lent to attain biblical wisdom?
Last night, a group of friends from my church met at our house for our weekly prayer circle. When we were done, we talked and drank hot tea. Then I passed around some French chocolate truffles.
Wrapped in curly paper, they’re called “papillotes.” I explained to my
guests that “papillotes” are the French version of Chinese fortune cookies but made with rich dark chocolate.
I translated the quote that came with one of them:
“The one who renders a service must keep silent. It is for the one who received it to talk about it.” Seneca
Immediately, I thought of the Bible scripture I read in James 3:13:
“Who is wise among you and has training? Let him prove his words by his good deeds in the humbleness of wisdom.”
There it was, biblical wisdom echoed in a French chocolate candy!
I am committed to prove my words with deeds and “humbleness of wisdom” on my Lenten journey as one brave Christian. It ties in with Sam Teague’s daily requirement to do “one totally unselfish and unexpected act of kindness or generosity.”
I must admit that I join the participants in the experiment who find it difficult to choose ahead of time what they will do to serve and for whom.
It’s not that I can’t think of ways to help someone in need. Rather, it’s puzzling to set out unexpectedly on a “good deed crusade.”
For instance, yesterday on my way to the beach, I saw a dead opossum on the road. People continued to drive on pretty fast. They might have thought “it’s just a road kill.”
I chose to stop.
I got out of the car, walked back to that spot; then waited for traffic to clear. I must have waited for what seemed like an eternity. Before I could venture to the middle of the road, I had plenty of time to consider what I looked like. I was standing by the ditch, an old rag in one hand; a frown on my face.
But then I noticed something different.
Where cars zipped by before I stopped, now they slowed down, swerved away from the dead opossum to avoid running over it. To my left, the on-coming traffic stretched as far as I could see, like in a long funeral procession.
“There’s my good deed,” I thought to myself. “Drivers’ education.”
If, from that brief encounter, only one person learned to respect life, that opossum would not have died in vain.
When traffic cleared, I ventured to the middle of the road. Then I did what I usually do in such cases. I pulled the corpse – still warm – off the street, laid it by the ditch under the bushes. I cut a branch off a tree, covered the animal’s head with it and said a prayer.
When I meditated with Sam Teague’s booklet yesterday, I had no idea what my “unselfish and unexpected act of kindness” would be. I did not answer that question.
The universe filled in the blank.