Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Dirt and Water Spots

Truth be told, my heart broke a little when I burnt the bottom of my dutch oven. I had lost my sense of smell due to a cold that day, and by the time I opened the lid -- my Bah Kut Teh (Chinese herbal pork-rib soup) was unsalvageable. I nearly wept, seeing the state of my beloved pot.

While the pot was soaking, Hans kept reminding me that it was "only a pot".
Never mind that it was his present for the fourth anniversary of our engagement. Never mind that I cried when he surprised me by hiding it in my kitchen cabinet. Never mind that I had imagined for years a dutch oven of my own -- in heaven.

But he is right. It is just a pot, not some antique porcelain vase in a museum. It wants to be used.

Today, thankfully, it sits prettily on my stove top. Useful for everything -- soups, sauces, roasts, stews, and savory pies. It survived the worst, bearing only a few scratches -- marks of a well-used, well-loved utensil.

Idolatry is worshiping anything that ought to be used, or using anything that is meant to be worshiped. -Augustine
The girls in my high school Sunday School class have each chosen one outfit to wear every Sunday until Easter. Some will refrain from shopping; all will be purging. An act of remembrance -- of Christ who is our perfect covering. An act of voluntary poverty -- remembering those who (involuntarily) have only the clothes on their back.

Perhaps by thinking while we put our clothes on, we simplify and purge the clutter of our hearts. A small gesture for such a mighty task, I know. But, sometimes we need signposts, however small, to remind us the direction we ought to turn.

Clothes are utensils. They are to be used responsibly. We are not to be mastered by our desire for beauty, slaves of our love for attention. Clothing functions to cover our nakedness; they are reminders that we are not who we were created to be. We put on clothes as a declaration -- Christ's death is sufficient for me.

Today, I was a spoon, a chair, a trampoline.
I was too many pieces of tissues, a pillow.
I was bread and water.

When we were walking to the playground, I stepped into mud. My poor shoes. During bath time, my shirt and pants were soaked, as always. Dirt and water spots -- the marks of motherhood. I am well-loved. 

Lord, please use me.


serene555 said...

what were you cooking? looks like a chicken something. actually i was just as excited about getting a glimpse into your house. it feels so homey seeing all your utensils and things. and i like your red kettle very much. i've seen it in 1 or 2 other photos somewhere in the background.

ruth@gracelaced said...

I love this. So well said. Idolatry is so subtle, isn't it? The Lord so gently and lovingly teaches us to make much of Him, and not the things he gives us to serve him with. Thank you for your comment over in my corner...I was so blessed and honored.

Seda said...

Serene -- a rendition of pan fried-chicken (without the skin) with vinegar, honey, soy sauce, and lots of garlic.
I served it with roasted seaweed and rice. Hans loves vinegar, and chicken is very affordable here in the States. I have a few recipes that combine the two.
My red kettle is also one of my favorite things. =)

Ruth -- Idolatry is indeed subtle. I find that in every stage of life, different kinds of things tend to lure me... and at this stage, kitchen utensils (and all they represent) can be stumbling blocks to this easily deceived heart of mine. =)

Jean Tsen said...

thank you...heart refreshed. have been so consumed by an NT inductive bible study paper which i couldn't start on sooner. i love the last line. may my paper be of some use to the Lord.