Friday, September 3, 2010

Hope's Good...

(photo from / Happy Meal and the Golden Arches are owned by McDonald's Corp.)
It's a cute commercial, really. I'm not a fan of fast food, and not a fan at all of fast food commercials...Burger King's are just stupid, I'm sorry. Yeah, I'm going to run right out and buy a cheeseburger because some guy in a king suit with an oversized head told me to. Not. McDonald's "I'm lovin' it"? Yeah, not for me. Their coffee will do in a pinch, if you can't get to a cup of real coffee, but I'm just not into fast food.

But this commercial is awesome. It's just a bunch of kids doing what kids do...laughing, playing, and eating...eating Happy Meals. Kids love Happy Meals, I don't know why. The toys used to be pretty cool, maybe they still are, I don't know. I remember that when I was a kid, the toy was the first thing we wanted to go for, but mom and dad wouldn't let us until after we had eaten. And these kids looked like they were going for the toys, whether they had eaten or not. They were laughing, and holding the boxes upside down, looking up into them, as if whatever they were looking for was going to fall out on the table. But they weren't going for the toys, they were looking for something else.

You almost had to be listening to see what they were looking for, because the commercial really wasn't about the food, and it really wasn't about the toy, but it was about something in the box. Evidently, and I'm not plugging McDonald's at all, but evidently when they sell a Happy Meal, part of the money goes to support the Ronald McDonald charities, which in turn supports the Ronald McDonald Houses, which in turn gives families a place to stay while their kids are undergoing treatment at one of the local hospitals. It gives the families a tiny little bit of hope.

And then he said it...this little boy said it...after he looked into his Happy Meal box, he looked up, straight at the camera and said, "Hope's good." By dang! I think he got it! I melted, and I'm a pretty tough guy. I mean, I can field dress a deer in 5 minutes flat, I can pull a splinter out from under my fingernail without crying, and I'm not afraid to stand up to just about anybody, but when he said that, I melted.

Hope's good. You're danged right hope's good, and that's part of our show folks who are ready to give up that hope's good, and that we can bring them hope in HIS name. That's what HE did, and that's the example HE left us.

So many folks have lost hope. Maybe it's just a temporary thing, bills have tightened up and they can't buy groceries that week, but next week will be better. Maybe it's a health thing, the doctor said that "C" word and now they're looking at what few options they have. Maybe it's a relationship gone to the dogs. Whatever battle they're fighting, it's our job to remind them, over and over again, that hope's good.

Call me naively optimistic if you want, that's ok. But I truly believe that church is supposed to be a place where power struggles don't exist, where everyone is welcome, pasts are forgiven, the kingdom is preached, injustice is fought, the weak are strengthened, the proud are brought down, and hope is good. I know it's a human institution, and no human institution is perfect, but a guy can dream, can't he?

Maybe we could take some lessons from corporate America. Find out what the people are looking for, and give it to them. Hope is very inexpensive to mass produce, and the demand is very high. Just a thought.


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