Jesus said to the outsider (Syrophoenecian/Gentile) woman, “It is not right to take the children (of Israel)’s food and feed it to such dogs.” Mark 7:25-3
We don’t like it when Jesus is mean. New Testament scholars consider these episodes of the Gospels as, well, Gospel Truth, because they are ‘hard sayings’ of Jesus. We want Jesus – and Chaplains – to be sweet and pleasant and encouraging. We hate it when it turns the other way and we have to play “hard cop.”
I mentioned a few days ago that Philmont has rules and for good purpose. We tell units over and over again, “STAY ON THE TRAILS; DON’T HIKE THE ROADS!” And yet we constantly see a crew hiking on the road. I’ve told you how bad these roads are – in good weather, let alone when it rains and they become “chunky peanut butter.” Just yesteday, carrying a full ’Burb of staff members back to Base Camp the day after rain, we fish-tailed (slightly, thanks be to God) several times. I told the staff, “I’m a skier, and I’m not afraid of sliding, and I know how to correct the slide.” (Going in 4-wheel low and about 10 miles/hour!)
So today, I had to reprimand 5 units hiking on one of the most dangerous roads (all the roads here are dangerous – many blind curves, huge rocks, narrow passage, steep inclines – and you wonder why Sue worries!) GET OFF THE ROAD!!! But. NO BUTS! “There are crazy Chaplain drivers here. A Scout is 50 points, an adult leader 100. And just this week, we determined 1st year staff are 150 and seasoned staff are 200!” By the fifth unit, I was really ‘ticked’ and not the pleasant chaplain everyone expects us to be.
Nonetheless, Jesus recants (was he just testing this Gentile mother?): “For your faith, your daughter is healed.” And she goes home to find the truth of Christ’s healing.
“I’m really looking after your safety. Though the roads look shorter on the map, they really are worse. The trails are (generally) smoother and easier. And while I may be the slow and easy Chaplain, right behind me is a Commissary truck – and they are big and go fast! Remember 50 points, 100 points…”
They may not have been happy with me. And there may be some that think I am the worst Chaplain ever, and how could he treat us this way? And yet I hope and pray that they will go home and understand healing and salvation. 50 points, 100 points…. Who wins in this game? I hope they will and I won’t.