Not a reflection on a movie clip this week, but a comedy moment. I came across this classic Hi Fi shop sketch this week when watching a documentary about the Not the Nine O’clock News team.
When chatting with my wife Lynn about it we started to talk about those times when you feel out of your depth. This poor guy walks into a Hi Fi shop wanting to buy a ‘gramophone’ only to find himself torn to shreds by the hip dudes behind the counter. I have sometimes felt a little like this when wandering into unknown situations. I know nothing about DIY or cars and so sometimes feel out of my depth when needing to get something fixed. Not that I’ve ever been treated like the poor guy in the sketch, I must add. I’ve always found those in the know to be helpful, kind and understanding. But knowledge is power isn’t it? And we can either wield it like an offensive weapon or use it to help each other. ‘Truth is like a blanket that always leaves your feet cold,’ Ethan Hawke said in the film Dead Poets Society. Truth without kindness can be cruel. We can use it to assert ourselves, to make ourselves strong while weakening others.
The extraordinary thing about Jesus is he had all the knowledge in the universe and yet never used it as a weapon. He preferred grace and generosity. He welcomed the nervous and hesitant and drew them into his new kingdom with entertaining stories and random acts of compassion. He never bludgeoned or pressurised anyone. ‘Come to me and it will be like finding a place to rest and recuperate,’ he said. Like a refreshing drink on a baking hot day. (Have a look at Matthew 11 v 28 and John 7 v 37-38.) He wasn’t offering regulations and religion. A stifling experience which made you feel like an idiot if you got it wrong. He’d come to help those who felt weak or foolish. He was wooing us towards a life that would build us up, not tear us down. The weary and the lost and the wayward and the incompetent found a home with him. We still do.