[My friend Jessie and I are simultaneously posting about peas today. Click here for her side of the debate.]
What looks like green mashed potato with lumps but tastes wonderful, especially when served with fish and chips? The answer is simple – mushy peas! Sadly, my love of this particular culinary delight is not shared by all of my family and friends. Good friend and fellow blogger Jessie Clemence and her family tried mushy peas on a recent visit to Ireland, not having had the opportunity to experience such a delicacy back home in the United States. I am sorry to say that feedback from the Clemence family was not terribly positive.
Like olives, mushy peas appear to be an acquired taste. I didn’t always like them, but they grew on me (not literally) while I was studying at the Marine School in South Shields during my Merchant Navy days. Olives are a different story. I hated olives with a passion until about five years ago. I don’t remember how or why I came to try olives again but to my complete astonishment I discovered that they were really rather good. These days there is always a jar of Spanish olives sitting in our kitchen with spare jars in one of the cupboards. I could easily work my way through a jar in ten minutes. Most of the rest of my family still hate olives. Their loss!
Christianity can be like mushy peas to some people. For those of us who already follow Jesus it is blatantly obvious that He is the Son of God. We believe without question that Jesus took human form two thousand years ago, and we understand how and why He died on the cross and rose from the dead three days later. What we don’t understand is why the friends and family members we are praying for just don’t get it. Surely coming to know Jesus is easier than acquiring a taste for foods we once avoided like the plague?
It takes time for some folk. Our impatience doesn’t help. I would love to have seen Jessie Clemence waxing lyrical on Facebook about mushy peas being the best thing she has ever tasted. I shall continue to pray for Jessie and her family that they might be delivered and come to love mushy peas, but I get the impression that it might not be this side of eternity. But enough about food and back to our unsaved friends and family members. What can we do? The most obvious thing is to keep nagging God in prayer. He knows how our hearts break for our unsaved loved ones. I think acting normal is also important, while being different as opposed to being weird. If the time that we spend in company with Jesus is reflected in the way that we live then surely people are going to want a taste of what we have?
Jesus said: “Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavours of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colours in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand – shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:13-16 The Message)