The Big Thaw! (Angel in the Kitchen)


We recently introduced our faithful upright freezer, a legend among our kitchen appliances, who wishes to be addressed as Mister Freeze.

Because Mr. Freeze is an old model — excuse us, we did promise to never discuss his age — a “classic” model, he tends to accumulate thick layers of ice on all his shelves and cooling coils. As we mentioned in “The Big Freeze,” this frosty characteristic of our tireless servant once came in handy, when we lost power for days: Mr. Freeze had so much ice built up that he was able to keep things well chilled until the power was restored. (He loves for us to tell this story!)

But there are times when too much ice is…well, too much. The buildup of ice on Mr. Freeze’s coils drastically reduces his efficiency. Hence, it takes more power for him to function properly — and actually, with all that ice choking his coils, he’s really NOT functioning properly!

Another downside of his icy condition is that eventually things no longer fit in his iced-up compartments. What was once a 12-inch clearance can easily become a nine-inch clearance, because his shelves are bound in about 3 inches of freezer frost! That’s when it’s time to stop writing and give Mr. Freeze a little TLC in the form of defrosting. Or as he describes it, The Big Thaw! (We really should stop letting Mr. Freeze watch all those old detective movies.)

The Big Thaw is, quite honestly, a big mess! As the ice melts away, all sorts of things reveal themselves: locked within the thick layers of freezer frost are the memories of foods long gone. Funky odors are emitted (which Mr. Freeze finds a little embarrassing), strange stains of purple, orange or red sometimes surface (probably from tiny leaks of concentrated fruit juices or the occasional drop of blood from a sirloin), along with bits of soggy cardboard from old packages (preserved like fossils in a tar pit), and endless puddles of cloudy water that collect on the garage floor (requiring towels and newspapers galore).

No, this poor neglected freezer doesn’t belong to us.

Mr. Freeze stands there with his door wide open, feeling a little exposed, as chunks of long-accumulated ice fall away from his neglected coils, and all his dirty little secrets drain away…. Ahem. But it’s all for the best. Afterwards, Mr. Freeze feels like a new appliance, running smoothly and once again ready to tackle the world of frozen foods!

Can you relate to Mr. Freeze? Are your spiritual coils choked by the ice of indiscretion?  Is the frost of past failures clogging areas of life, until there’s no room for new people, new directions, and new dreams?

As we go through life we tend to accumulate thick layers of “ice”: hurts and disappointments start to cool our fervor; unforgiveness can chills our hearts; and before we know it, we’re bound by the ice, separated from God and others by a thick layer of frost. When that happens, it’s time for the Big Thaw.

We need to open our hearts to God — wide open — and allow the Holy Spirit and the Word of God to defrost our attitudes and our relationships. David’s continual prayer was “Create a clean heart in me, O God, and renew a faithful spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 GOD’S WORD)

As our guilt and burdens melt away, we’ll detect the rotten stench of any bitterness and unforgiveness, see bits of soggy cardboard from our past mistakes, and the stains of old sins at last confronted. That icy heaviness will begin to fall away, leaving us free once again, and functioning more smoothly and efficiently.

“…Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race…before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 ESV)


The Big Freeze (Angel in the Kitchen)


We’d like to introduce you to yet another member of our family of faithful kitchen appliances: our upright freezer! Take a bow, Freezer! Freezer? Ahem. Sorry, folks, but he prefers to be addressed as MISTER Freeze! Okay, that’s cool. Now say hello to our readers, Mr. Freeze.

Mr. Freeze? Uh, he’s not talking today. Please forgive him. Like Mr. T, he has a bit of an attitude but, after all, it is his nature to be cold.

Mr. Freeze has been with us for quite a few years. He’s older than his cousin, Fridgey. In fact, he’s the eldest of his clan, and he’ll soon turn 25! — Mr. Freeze! Be nice. (He doesn’t like it when we discuss his age.) Anyway, because Mr. Freeze is an older — excuse us — a “classic” model, he has a habit of quickly accumulating a thick layer of ice on each of his shelves. But as we’ll soon explain, this characteristic has come in handy.

Mr. Freeze is a loner — mostly — so he resides in our garage. But he’s never totally alone; Mr. Freeze periodically hangs out with our blue SUV. That is, when Blue isn’t running the road. And at night, while we sleep, these two faithful servants share stories. Blue usually has the most exciting tales to relate, hair-raising adventures of the freeway and … well ….

Mr. Freeze has his own share of legends to relate, and one night he — What? Okay. Mr. Freeze wants to tell the story:

It was a dark and stormy night … and all through the house, not a creature was stirring — except this one goofy mouse.

Christmas Eve Caper: “Did somebody say big cheese?” NO! We said Big FREEZE!

That was way back in 1999, during the early morning hours of Christmas Eve. While my friends, Tom and Wilma, snoozed, a massive ice storm moved over the southeast and dropped several inches of freezing rain. (Grrr, what a show-off!)

My friends awoke to the sounds of tree branches breaking under the weight of a thick coating of ice. (The nerve! I make the ice around here!) Anyway, there were downed power lines everywhere, and Woodhaven didn’t have electricity for ten days. But did Tom and Wilma’s food go bad? Not while I’m on the job!

Sure, I didn’t have any power either, but I’m well insulated; and my layers of ice kept things good and cold — just like a big igloo cooler! So everything that needed refrigeration, I kept nice and fresh! Hey, Fridgey, did ya hear that?

Mister Freeze, open wide and say “Aah.” My, what thick ice you have!

Um, we all heard it, Mr. Freeze. But yes, it’s true, you saved the day! You’re a hero, a true legend in the annals of kitchen history. And because you’re an elder appliance, you deserve our respect and admiration.

By the way, some people are just like Mr. Freeze: they come across as cold (and distant). When we get around these people, they tend to give us a frosty reception (they’re grumpy). But like Mr. Freeze, they’ve endured many storms in life. Their outlook and emotions have been chilled by hurts and disappointments; and they’ve built up protective layers to insulate themselves from the world. Many of them have become as cold and hardened as pack ice.

Jesus warns us, “Because lawlessness will multiple, the love of many will grow cold.” (Matthew 24:12 Holman Christian Standard) In other words, the chill of our hurts and disappointments can cause pain, resentment, distrust, unforgiveness, and even a general feeling of bitterness to accumulate like layers of ice around our hearts. We can eventually become much like the shelves within Mr. freeze: bound by “ice” and frozen in life.

It’s easy to turn and walk away from people who are hurting and “iced up.” Because as Joyce Meyers often states, “Hurting people hurt people.” But the mister and missus freezes of this world nevertheless need our help, as well as the thawing influence of genuine love. King Solomon wrote, “Love is as strong as death…. [It] flashes like fire…. Many waters cannot quench love….” (Song of Solomon 8:6-7 NLT)

Love is the most powerful force in the universe; and God’s love is life’s universal antifreeze. 1 Corinthians 13 describes its “composition.” When we apply it, God’s supernatural Agape Love allows us to endure a little frostbite and eventually break through the ice that insulates people. God’s Love allows us to look beyond bad attitudes and nasty dispositions. It enables our Lord to use us to melt the coldest heart.

So drop the ice pick and put down the tongs, because “Love never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:8 ISV)