It’s a bit weird, but the other day I felt like God told me to put a phone box receiver back on the hook.
I was walking past the phone box and the handset was dangling away, off the hook, the insistent beeping of the phone audible from the other side of the street. I don’t know what had happened – I could surmise that someone had thrown down the phone in anger, maybe someone didn’t quite put it back on properly, or maybe just some kids messing. Whatever. Not the end of the world.
“Put it back on the hook”.
“Sorry, Lord, just checking, you want me to put the phone back on the hook?”
“Put it back on the hook”.
“Err…Well, OK, I can do that.”
So, over the road I trot and do just that. Check no one is on the other end. Clunk, click; slightly-annoying beeping stops, I keep walking.
“Lord, is there a reason that you asked me to do that?”
“Yep. I want you to keep putting things right”
I was floored by the simplest yet deeply profound statement. I was literally paused in my tracks. It felt like the greatest revelation, the most amazing of all discoveries and the deepest of hopes in me all at once.
It felt like a discovery that would bring life to me and others around me.
Weird, I know.
It’s this simple thing. Yet…somehow…not simple, as well. It is deep and potentially life changing.
As we “put things right” we join in with the work of God in the whole of creation – the work of redemption; of everyone and everything being restored back into right-relationship with God; of people being reformed into what God originally intended; of the power of sin and death being broken and the world being made right.
That’s what happens in the Kingdom of God – things gets put right.
It strikes me as a simple answer to very deep questions:
How do we “act justly, love mercy and walk humbly”? – we keep putting things right.
How do we “love our neighbour” – we keep putting things right.
How do we “serve the last, the least and the lost” – we keep putting things right.
How do we “end slavery” – we keep putting things right
Whatever these things are. Look at them. See how they are meant to be and be part of God restoring them. Put things right.
One day, the Bible tells us, everything will get put right. But, for now, we just play our part. Whatever is broken or distorted or wrong in front of you – start to put it right:
Pick up litter, clean graffiti, be a listening ear for someone who is heartbroken, hold an old person’s hand, weep with those who weep, have your “not-that-cool” neighbour over to play video games, make someone breakfast (or cookies – probably cookies actually!), sit next to the bullied girl at school, sign petitions, buy a homeless person some food, serve at church, paint someone’s fence, say hello to that person you know is lonely, help people out of poverty, ask someone how they are, give some money away. Put the phone back on the hook.
Just keep putting things right.