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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

16 October 2013: Jon Piper, Hope Church


Is it me, or has Petersfield been disproportionately blessed with a generous amount of takeaways? Even if it's not the case, these establishments are something to be thankful for.

My family and I visited one of the curry houses this evening to celebrate my son's 11th birthday. The consensus was that curry, in all its variety and spicy loveliness is one of the finest inventions in the known universe.

This assertion is quite strange, when we consider the "antibiotic hypothesis". This is an important theory in that great academic field: curry studies. The theory suggests that people first started spicing their food to protection themselves from food-borne bacteria. Basically, meat rots quickly in warm climates so spices were used to preserve food and hide unsavoury tastes.

So, if this hypothesis is true, curry (that mouth-altering substance of joy) was created from the dregs and the off-cuts.

I think we see this pattern remarkably often in life: the best, the most joyous and the greatest things seem to find their birth in the second rate, the failing and the broken things.
I had a conversation with a colleague recently. Both of us experienced very difficult, often traumatic childhoods. We were both broken and unable to experience the joy of living by the time we reached our teens.

But, as I told my friend, I believe that although God did not cause or intend our pain and brokenness, he often seems disposed to use just such pain and brokenness to make the world better. Those two hurting children have both grown up working for justice and hope in similarly difficult family situations.

This is what God is like.

Dodgy meat makes excellent curry. Hurting children make powerful adults. The hopelessness of death on a cross leads to a glorious resurrection.

This article was submitted for publication in the Petersfield Post on 16 October; it is possible that it was published earlier or may be published later.

Read about the Kid's Sales organised by Home Start Butser next Saturday, 19 October

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