ReVision

Pie?

We can help them develop new tastes.

In the film, The Help, Miss Minny is renowned for her chocolate pie. All the household help and their racist employers all over Jackson, Mississippi, know that Miss Minny has the best chocolate pie in town.

So delicious is her chocolate pie, in fact, that her erstwhile employer doesn't even notice when Miss Minny prepares a "special pie" for her, laced with her own feces - which she announces to the racist white woman after she's eaten two pieces.

Now I think this is an excellent example of how the Kingdom of God comes in a secular world. The secular world is not feasting on deluxe chocolate pies, oh no, not by a long shot. Our secular age has developed a taste, not for things beautiful, true, just, and good, but for all things degraded, insipid, illicit, and base. Not everyone, of course, and not to the same degree. But, goodness, just survey the pop culture - TV, films, music - and consider what people pay to indulge!

Our secular age, having repudiated the tasty and wholesome ingredients of spiritual and moral nutrition and delight, are content to feast on the dung pies of an age in flight from God.

How we gonna get these folks to delight in the things of God?

We have to sneak it in on 'em, a little at a time, so's they don't even recognize that they're getting something really useful and good.

We can't blare the Gospel like a bright light in their faces. Or wag our fingers and raise our voices against their wicked ways. We must not separate ourselves from them so that we don't have to be tainted by their sinful ways. We mustn't participate in or condone their degradation; rather, we have to find ways to give them bits of Kingdom savor amid their steady diet of materialism and sensuality.

We have to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves as we use our conversations, relationships, and everyday lives to slip a mickey of truth or grace into the debased diet of our secular friends. We need to do our work, make and use culture, conduct ourselves in every aspect of our lives with Kingdom character and purpose, so that we leaven the pasty, tasteless lump of secular sourdough with a power that can transform it into something wholesome and good.

And, as the opportunity presents itself, and people begin to note and remark the different way we treat them, our polite refusals to join their vulgar conversations and diversions, our persistent kindness, or the general excellence of all our ways, we'll be able to tell them that what we've been serving up is a "special" recipe, prepared by a Master Chef, Who is able to make all things new.

The world will continue eating its nasty pies, but we can help them develop new tastes by consistently showing them Jesus, offering in our words and ways a new "slice of pie" such as they've never tasted before.

Related texts: Matthew 5.13-16, Acts 1.8 1 Peter 3.15

A conversation starter: "Help me to understand: What's so special about all the wallowing in sensuality, materialism, and grossness that seems to characterize pop culture these days?"

T. M. Moore, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in Essex Junction, VT.