A weary & wabbit truck driver pulled his rig into an all-night diner’s parking and sat-in, famished. The waitress had just served three tough looking, leather clad, Hell’s Angel’s type motorcyclists, who decided to give the truck driver a hard time. They verbally abused him, one grabbed the hamburger off his plate, another took a handful of his French fries and the third picked up his coffee and began to drink it.

How would you respond? Well, the trucker didn’t respond as you’d expect. He calmly rose, picked up his bill, walked to till, paid up, whispered in the waitress’s ear, stepped back into the night, and drove away.

One cyclist snarled, “Not much of a man, is he?” to which the waitress replied, “He just paid for your meals and left me a generous tip, he’s more of a man than most who pass through here!”

Here’s a man who managed to absorb abuse and transform it into peace-making, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called God’s sons & daughters!”

Alas, the scenario which actually played out at that all-night diner is that the truck driver did leave a big tip but didn’t pay the bikers’ bill. When the cyclist, fishing for a fight, said, “Not much of a man, is he?” the waitress replied, “Perhaps, but he sure isn’t much of a truckdriver. He just ran over three motorcycles on his way out of the parking lot!”

I suspect such retaliation for the trucker’s humiliation is what most of us would have liked to do, applauding the truckdriver’s clever revenge. But such behaviour would simply multiply anger and further affirm the aggressive nature of these bikers.

Jesus says that when people try to humiliate or persecute you, turn the other cheek and

show people the grace that God has shown you.

This isn’t a recipe for ‘DOORMAT Christianity’, rather courageous, counter cultural transformational love. It’s the choice between transmitting, like electricity, the same energy targetted against us. The alternative is to absorb and transform such hostility and ill will into something positive and helpful. So, Jesus says “Go the extra mile, go above and beyond expectations!”

You’re asked to vacuum the living room, which you do, but also dust and straighten the furniture. You’re asked to change someone’s car oil, which you do, but also check the transmission fluid & antifreeze levels, and make sure their tire pressure is right. You pay for person’s grocery bill behind you in the supermarket or for the drive-thru meal behind you.

Are you, am I, an ‘Above and beyond’ kind of person? Holy Week is a time to remember the awful aggro Jesus absorbed for us, transforming it into forgiveness and eternal life. He invited us to follow him in loving sacrifice, not to settle for just being an average person, but to change this world by shocking others, becoming an ‘Above and beyond’ kind of believer’ When was the last time you amazed someone by going above and beyond what was expected? We’ve more opportunities than we perhaps realise!