My friend Richard, who's been visiting this week, and who now feels more like the little brother I never had than anyone else I know, has this kind of ridiculous phrase that goes 'hunger is the greatest sauce'.
Which makes no sense, right?
How can hunger be a condiment to eating?
It got even more confusing because up until this morning, I actually thought he was saying 'hunger is the greatest source'.
And that, at least on the surface, made even less sense to me.
Hunger is the source?
I mean, the sentence is totally unfinished. It never actually tells me what hunger is the source of.
But the thing is… After 6 whole days of being told that hunger is the best source (because I totally didn't get the whole sauce thing), and after 6 whole days of hanging out with my friend Richard (and a whole bunch of other people in Sapporo that I love a whole lot), I've changed my mind.
Richard has taught me that hunger is the best source.
He has, in fact, embodied it.
Because we have danced, and sung, and laughed, and worshipped, and travelled, and adventured, and eaten, and dog-sledged, and onsened, and hung out in bars, and in hostels, and at parties, and in houses, and at churches, and we have eaten pancakes, and chocolate, and soup curry, and pancakes, and french toast, and fondue, and pancakes, and fruit, and meat… And pancakes.
And we have talked about Jesus, and wondered at the Bible and felt the Holy Spirit so very close.
And Richard has taught me that hunger is the best sauce.
That a hunger for Jesus is the best source of everything else.
Because this guy loves Jesus. He loves Him so much it flows out of everything he does and everything he says.
And because he loves Jesus so much, he loves people so well.
That's what has totally become clear to me.
This week, Richard has pretty much met as many of the people that I love in this city that I love as is feasibly possible. And he has just loved them. He has encouraged every one of them. Christian or non-Christian. It actually hasn't mattered.
And I love, love, love that.
I have this theory about sharing our faith as Christians, and I think it's that we sometimes make it way more complicated and pressurised than it needs to be. We want formulas and numbers and quick fixes, and we get so incredibly scared about the things Jesus tells us to not fear. But my thoughts are rooted in what I see in the life of Jesus. That this loving people and doing life with people and just being in love with God and letting that pour out of us is really what everything else flows from.
God wires us with gifts and talents and ways to connect with others, and we use those things to love God and love people.
And so this week we have sung about Jesus in a bar crammed full of people, we have danced in cars and in living rooms, we have talked about life with people until the small hours of the morning, we have loved people with breakfast cooking, we have made friends with the managers of restaurants, and the residents of hostels, and we have laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed. And laughed.
One of my non-Christian friends was talking about meeting Richard on Thursday night, and he said this…
'Your friend Richard was so great. I don't meet many people like him… It was like he had this power inside of him, and this energy… He was so fun, but also there was this different power!'
I got to tell my friend about the Holy Spirit, because the thing is… My friend has noticed the same energy in my life and asked about it before. He notices the difference in Christians. And he wants to know why.
I'm so thankful that Richard visited this city and loved my friends so well.
I'm so thankful.
I'm so thankful for all he taught me as we were hanging out and doing life this week.
That the hunger for Jesus is the sauce for everything.
Because remember, hunger is the best sauce.