Grilled Cheese and the Power of Sharing
There is power in the sharing of little goodnesses
The essence of Christianity is filling your heart with good things, and sharing them. There is a subtle distinction I want to highlight here. As disciples, we should be naturally willing to share good things. Not necessarily clever things. Sharing the peace of the gospel is not something to prepare for the way you might cram for a test, where you memorize specific answers to specific questions so you can “win” in discussions about religion. There is a place for discussions on things like the differences between policies and doctrines, or the historical context in which scriptures have been produced, or composing clever analogies or neo-parables. I love doing all those things, and many of us do, too. But those things are not testimony. They can strengthen an existing testimony, but they cannot substitute for one.
So internalize the gospel, don’t memorize it. There’s a difference. The scriptures use the word “conversion” when talking about this move from academic knowledge of gospel topics to spiritually embracing them and making them part of who you are. Consider Luke 22:
31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat:
32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Christ implicitly links Simon’s faith not-failing with Simon becoming converted, and explicitly directs him on what to do once it happened. We know now, reading from the future, that Peter wasn’t quite there at the time, but he got there. And as he grew into conversion, he certainly sought to strengthen his brethren (all the faithful, and really everyone).
Sharing the gospel, the peace of Christ, is about letting your light shine wherever you go. As you fill your heart with good things, you should share them. You might even find that you must, that they just come out. And that’s totally okay.
My wife and I had some missionaries (two young sisters full of zeal) over for dinner the other night, and served grilled cheese sandwiches. That may sound a little simple, but I make a pretty fancy-schmancy grilled cheese involving gouda and rosemary sourdough, so I’m not ashamed to serve one up. Regardless, during the conversation, the topic of gospel analogies came up, and we joked about finding spiritual analogies in mundane things, and that doing so could be fun. One of the sisters asked, half-joking, if I could come up with a potential “parable of the grilled cheese sandwich.”
Well, as it happens …
Can we compare a grilled cheese sandwich to the first principles and ordinances of the gospel? Can we describe the colby jack and gouda cheese of faith being encircled by the delicious rosemary sourdough bread of repentance? Can we then imagine that sandwich being baptized in an immersive covering of butter and then receiving the frying pan-fire of the Holy Ghost to tie it all together? Sure we can. And maybe that’s a clever gospel analogy for the fundamental steps on the road to conversion, but how does it become something that can help us act?
Let’s turn it into a parable. You know the best part of grilled cheese sandwiches? When you make them for other people. Grilled cheese is a comfort food (one of the best, in my not particularly humble opinion) and what makes comfort food really shine is sharing it. It’s one thing for you to make yourself a grilled cheese at the end of a long and maybe chilly day. It’s another to make one for someone else at the end of their long and maybe chilly day. At that point it becomes more than a delicious sandwich. It becomes its own little act of charity. It becomes a moment in which you, like Peter, “strengthen your brethren.”
So don’t keep good things to yourself. If someone asks how your weekend went, talk about something good you learned in church: a great talk, a good point in Sunday school, how much you love hymns, or whatever thing you liked! Sharing isn’t about selecting from a memorized library of canned answers. It’s about sharing the things that have touched you or that have moved you. Your testimony shines through when you mean what you say instead of reciting a “right” answer.
Draw close to God. Fill your heart with love for others. Strive to walk the path of discipleship. As you do, you will become “converted.” As that process unfolds in your own life, do not be afraid to share the good things that come into your heart. Let your light shine!
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