A photograph of Boris Johnson putting his feet on a table in the Elysée Palace has circled the world. How crass, boorish, discourteous and bullish, they all cried.
…he was invited to. President Macron told the Prime Minister that these tables (which are, let’s be honest, rather awful) could double as footstools. So Boris leaned back in his chair and did as the President suggested. Now, you may think the Prime Minister should be so suggestible, but that is not the same as being crass, boorish, discourteous and bullish in someone else’s palace.
We all judge by appearances, and in an age of media manipulation where anyone can be photoshopped or dubbed and be made to be seen or heard doing or saying anything, it is incumbent upon Christians all the more not to leap to condemnation and scorn. The reality is to be found beyond the superficial; the truth is discovered beneath the formality of façade; mercy flows beyond the letter of the law.
‘Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment‘ (Jn 7:24). The context is healing: Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath, and this was considered a breach of the law of Moses. Jesus’ accusers were missing the true meaning of the sabbath – they had sight, but were still blind; they heard, but did not understand. The exhortation is not to stop judging, but rather to make a right judgment.
Having further pondered the photograph of Boris Johnson putting his feet upon a table in the Elysée Palace, it is evident that he not being crass, boorish, discourteous or bullish, but conveying to President Macron a manifest Brexit imperative: ‘Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool‘ (Ps 110:1). The UK will leave the EU on 31st October – Reformation Day – and nothing will get in the way. Neither a German chancellor nor a French president shall impede the eschatological fulfilment: all things are under Boris Johnson’s feet. We await his long-hidden plan of the mystery.