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Lunchbox Spirituality


I have recently been to see the movie, The Lunchbox. I highly recommend it. I will not spoil the story, but it involves the (incredibly rare!) mix-up in delivering lunch in Mumbai. About half a million lunches are moved around Mumbai daily in a complex network by ‘Dabbawala‘ (one who carries the box) using bicycles and trains.

Saajan, the depressed accountant about to retire from his job, receives lunch from the also-yearning-for-love Ila, that she had intended for her husband. Ila is guided by the heard-but-never-seen (Oh I get it!) voice from above, ‘Aunty’.

The story rotates around a Christian (Saajan), a Hindu (Ila), and a Muslim (Shaikh). What unites them (and transforms them) is food and communication…

If I tell you any more I will spoil all that you can draw out of this personally, in a sermon, or in a discussion group… Save that I follow One who drew draws people through food and communication… and then transforms us…

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7 thoughts on “Lunchbox Spirituality”

  1. I’ll be sure to look out for it!

    I just read Shappi Khorsandi’s autobiography of her childhood exile from Iran http://www.amazon.com/Beginners-Guide-To-Acting-English/dp/0091924774 and learned a great deal from that too.

    Our multi-cultural tolerance is stretched a bit here in Texas right now as a Liberian turned up here with ebola virus in the last few days. He flew via Brussels and could potentially have infected people across two continents.

    Of course it’s much worse here any kind of health crisis as we don’t have a healthcare system as in other developed countries, and millions of Americans simply can’t afford health insurance. If they have insurance, many can’t afford to use it. So a scary prospect that a deadly disease can turn up and not only threaten lives but bankrupt people for life in trying to save them.

    I’ve always been way liberal and tolerant much of my life, and assumed that was the right way to be a Christian- try to show kindness and understanding. Many many things challenge that perception all the time now, not least our President who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace, well he turned out to be a sham Bosco. I don’t think I’ve ever been so disappointed in a public figure. Margaret Thatcher maybe, but we still had enough democracy to tame her cruel streak!

    The healthcare reforms fiasco here has raised everyone’s healthcare charges by 47% across America, and far from being apologetic or taking responsibility, our President adopted an arrogant attitude, it’s been quite shocking to see everything unfold to be honest.

    When he was first elected a lot of people here responded racially, saying he was a Muslim; I was one of the people who responded to that- so what if he was? we have freedom of religion in this country.

    Yet all the people who were suspicious turned out to be right.

    And I really really hope someone in the administration can do their job somewhere, because despite the official reassurances that the US can cope with an ebola or other outbreak- it took days to find a Haz-mat team to clean out the apartment where the man with ebola was sick and his friends were supposed to be quarantined ( and according to news sources those people did not stay put as instructed either )

    A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim, all my life I’ve supported interfaith because I believed there’s only one God/ one spirit of goodness, I just thought we were all touching on the same thing via our different cultural experiences.

    But would I, knowingly, travel across the world to save myself knowing it could wreak havoc? I’d like to think I’m a little more civilised than that, and that when it’s time for my life to end I don’t fight it like that.

    I know a few evil or stupid representatives don’t really make a religion, but sadly that’s what happens to make people think ‘not my tribe’.

    I’m really struggling to defend it to be honest Bosco, I am starting to wonder if I have been wrong all along. I have been praying for a sign- I’ll let you know.

  2. It’s very hard to be consistent in life I think Bosco, easy to care about the people who we like and who seem most like ourselves, and easy to resent and dislike anyone who is different.

    Thank you, great post on the Ghandi quote. And that’s Jesus too isn’t it ‘if you love only them that love you…’

    Like most people by my age I’ve had times where my beliefs have been tested, but nothing prepared me for being betrayed IN church, and I’ve been wary since of trusting Christians too closely. I was ill for months after injuring myself at church, and people were embarrassed by the fact I was bullied, not supportive or willing to try to fix things, and it wasn’t Christians who helped me get through it- it was kind atheists.

    It’s funny Bosco, I’m a bit lost right now, life has been very difficult this past three years, but the one thing that I have held onto as knowing it’s right- kindness. A clarity has come about that, nothing is worthwhile in life without there being compassion, even towards or maybe especially towards those who don’t seem to deserve it or show any love themselves.

    The person who bullied me and led to me being injured at church just revealed his true character to all, showing the most unpleasant disloyalty and humiliation to his own wife, so that’s an interesting lesson for me- people always reveal themselves in the end, no matter how much they convince people otherwise at first.

    Our President, I was convinced he was sincere, I didn’t think he particularly deserved the Nobel Prize- there are plenty of people who deserved it better- but to realise what a narcissistic dishonest person he actually is, just out for himself. It’s quite shocking. Sometimes I wonder am I really naïve…but then I don’t want to be that cynic who won’t give people a chance either. Even though most times a person in power will turn out to be evil rather than good.

    And since Christian ministry became ‘a career path’ rather than a calling, that happens too in churches. And I’m sure mosques and temples.

    The world always has been and maybe always will be led by psychopaths, the worst ones start bloody revolutions and wars, steal all the wealth, but the lesser ones simply make life hell in petty ways or with sadistic abuse for those around them.

    Lunchbox Spirituality type ideas, it’s what we want the world to be like, where goodness and kindness ultimately prevails, not necessarily how it is, where greed and power ruin things for everyone.

    Oh Bosco, these are hardly original thoughts are they…’nothing new under the sun’!

    Wish you were my religious minister, I wouldn’t be afraid to go back to a church where you were preaching. You have that rare combination of both spirituality and intelligence, plus you have experienced great trials and persevered kindly more than anyone could be reasonably tasked.

    Well you *are* ministering to me of course, by keeping me on focus for what is important from what, 7500 miles away! I imagine you are inspiring and encouraging many people with your writings Bosco, without the Liturgy NZ website I doubt I would still attempt my religion.

    1. I am without easy words to respond, Tracy, other than that you know you are in my thoughts and prayers. Know that you too have been an encouragement across these miles. Blessings.

    2. WOW, I don’t find anything about Pres Obama to be narcicistic or dishonest and certainly not self-centered. That’s a very FOX News approach.

      I have been disappointed in him because he isn’t as strong as we thought that he was and doesn’t always seem to have the courage of his convictions. He can’t always walk his own talk, but I don’t find him at all to be the bad person that you describe.

  3. Tracy, do not be disheartened with the likes of Obama, and others. Yes, there is only one God (the Holy Trinity).

    Go to “Church”, spend time alone with the Most Holy Sacrament. Talk to Him. He will lead you.

    God bless.

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