There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all… (Eph. 4:4-5)
The vets from the jail’s reentry program wanted to talk about acceptance because they were breaking down into cliques and factions in their cell.
The following week we read through several scriptures, which I thought could help them to be more accepting of each other. As we were talking about what we had read, it was obvious that they weren’t inspired or motivated.
One guy then said, “The way for us to accept each other is soup.”
I asked, “What do you mean?”
He said, “We all like soup. We all eat different soup. If we made one big soup, and ate that soup together, it might help us to accept each other.”
As this man and I were having this interchange, I could tell that another guy was getting agitated. I asked, “What’s up?” He said, “I don’t like that guy’s soup.”
I became worried that the possibility of strengthening their acceptance for each other through eating the common soup had just been derailed, but then one of the leaders said, “Hey Joe, you aren’t getting it. We’re not eating the common soup to like the soup. We’re eating the common soup to like each other.”
It was obvious that Joe was thinking hard about what the other guy had said. He then smiled and said, “I get it. From now on I’m going to put my soup into the big pot. Everyone needs to do the same. Maybe this will help us accept each other.”
The next week I asked them if they had made the one big soup. They had. I asked how it tasted. They said they had never tasted better. I asked if it had made any difference. They then began to tell me how.
As I listened to their Soup-Testimonies, the words from above came to mind: “…one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all.”
If those vets in jail gained more acceptance for each other through eating the common soup, I encourage us to find our own creative and faithful ways to do the same.
- If you always remembered that God is “Father of all,” how do you think your life would change?
- One of the reasons why we sometime have a hard time accepting others is that we have a hard time accepting ourselves. How well do you accept yourself?
- Jesus accepts unacceptable us. Because Jesus accepts us He calls us, even expects us, to accept each other. Who might Jesus be calling you to accept right now?