Sunday, April 12, 2009

Guest blogger: Paul Rockley.

The Divine jeitinho

Today is Easter Sunday, so a very feliz pascoa to everyone and especially our family back in Blighty.

Prior to our trip some kind friends bought us the Lonely Planet guide to Brazil, which was helpful preparatory reading since I didn´t know very much about this fascinating country at all. One of the things they mention is the Brazilian way of doing things called jeitinho. Apparently it´s a difficult word to translate, but it carries the idea of a creative way around things which are seemingly difficult or intractable. A sporting example which comes to mind was a jaw-dropping piece of skill and inventiveness I saw a Brazilian footballer perform against my team (Manchester United) in the the FIFA World Club Championship in 2000. Receiving the ball with his back to the goal and a hulking defender right behind him, Edmundo somehow contrived to spin the ball one way, turn the other side of the dumbstruck defender, collect it again and smash it past the goalkeeper. I´ve never seen it repeated. Apparently Brazilians pride themselves in doing this sort of thing in all sorts of situations.

One French scholar described jeitinho as ``an ingenious manoeuvre that renders the impossible possible, the unjust just, and the illegal legal``. With it being Easter my thoughts turn naturally to what happened on that ´green hill far away´ outside Jerusalem. Here was the God of awesome holiness facing the dilemma of what to do with sinful, rebellious humanity who yet remained the objects of his love and with whom He desired relationship. What would He do? The cross is His answer. In the cross He somehow managed to satisfy the demands of His justice with the lavishness of His grace. In the cross the sinless one was ´made sin for us´. In the cross the immortal dies , God pays our debt `the just for the unjust´ Genius. Mystery. ´A deeper magic since before the dawn of time´ as C.S. Lewis puts it in his allegory The Lion , the witch and the wardrobe. I´m calling it ´Divine jeitinho.´

1 comment:

Guarany said...

Ingenious analogy, Paul.
A novel way of seeing God's goodness and justice through the lenses of a Brazilian word.

Fernando Guarany