Beware of the Blob! (Angel in the Kitchen)


Long after midnight, while watching a creepy classic on the late late movie, we see it: a scene so hideous in its simple truth, so horrifying that— We shudder and try to look away, but it’s too late; and now, we may never be able to fully purge the sickening image from our fevered brains!

The scene: in a dimly-lit kitchen a woman is removing what appears to be an ordinary cookie sheet from her oven. Unbeknownst to her, however, a strange alien substance has covered the cookie sheet … an evil, slimy film that’s been lurking there … awaiting the right moment to strike.

The nasty stuff begins to grow … rising, taking on a ghoulish shape. It’s grey and gooey, sticky and scarier than anything we’ve seen before!

Wait a minute, we cry in unison. Are we watching a repeat of The Blob with Steve McQueen? Remember that 1958 sci-fi flick? Hapless viewers were warned by the movie’s opening theme song, “Beware of the blob! It creeps; And leaps, and glides and slides; Across the floor; Right through the door; And all around the wall — A splotch, a blotch! Be careful of the blob!” Corny? Hey, watch it! The great pop composer Burt Bacharach wrote those crazy lyrics!

All this aside, we were absolutely wrong. Guess our minds wandered a moment, and we hadn’t realized we were now watching a commercial for Pam Cooking Spray. You know, the stuff that keeps food from sticking to pots, pans and baking surfaces.

Apparently, the lady in the commercial had forgotten to spray on the Pam, and now the thin residue of old food, which clung tenaciously to her cookie sheet, was rising up to expose her mistake. “I am the ghost of meals past,” it proclaims, ready to haunt your tastebuds with the disgusting flavors of meals long gone but not quite forgotten.

Imagine, a funky residue of spinach quiche invading the taste of your chocolate chip cookies! Nothing ruins the enjoyment of a good cookie more than something nasty-tasting mingling with the butter and brown sugar! Yuck!

And, heh, life is like a cookie sheet. No, really! In life, we make mistakes; we encounter conflicts and disappointments; and in our relationships we experience, at one time or another, hurts, misunderstandings, and even betrayals. Sometimes the pain and disillusionment of the past lingers on. It sticks to us like that gooey glob in the Pam commercial! We think we’ve moved on, but a thin film of nasty experiences sticks to our hearts. It’s those memories that leave a “bad taste” in our mouths — months, even years, later. These “ghosts” can continue to haunt us, with emotional “residue” that can contaminate fresh relationships and new experiences, preventing us from fully tasting all the good things in life!

Why do bad things seem to stick, even long after we “forgive and forget”? Well, with God, forgiveness and acceptance are instant. The Bible states, “God is faithful and reliable. If we confess our sins, He forgives them and cleanses us from everything we’ve done wrong.” (1 John 1:9 GOD’S WORD)

There’s no residue of the past, because nothing sticks! The cookie sheet of our lives is left clean as a whistle! And our loving, merciful Heavenly Father does not bring up the past to mess up the “flavor” of our present. Instead, He casts “all our sins into the depths of the sea.” (Micah 7:19 Jubilee Bible). In other words, He scours the “pan” and then flushes the residue down the drain!

Alas, if only people could do the same! Being weak and fallen creatures (say “humans”), we tend to cling to our hurts and disappointments. This partly stems from self-righteousness. Ouch! We all make mistakes, and we’ve all let someone down in the past. But we refuse to consider the old proverb, “To err is human, to forgive divine!” So we need to give those who hurt us a break. After all, they’re only human! Spray on the PAM of love and forgiveness! “For Love covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8 NLT)

We need to cut ourselves some slack, too. Some emotional wounds do take time to heal. And yet, even after forgiving ourselves and others — and moving forward — we may still feel some emotional residue. But that’s where God comes into the picture! He is like spiritual PAM!

As we grow closer to God, we become more like Him. We begin to see things the way He sees them, and we begin to respond the way God would respond. As we mature in the Lord, we are better able to overcome hurts and disappointments. We get better at forgiving, and better at going through life without having every insult and injury stick to us!

We can only truly forgive and move forward when we include God in the process. So, be honest with your Heavenly Father. Present your hurts to Him in prayer. “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” (1 Peter 5:7 NLT) Ask Him to scrape away any emotional residue, to give you a divine perspective, and cover you with His love!

A little spiritual PAM will keep you free from those ugly emotional blobs that come creeping and crawling — and which try to cling to the heart. Don’t get stuck! Be free! Free from being haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes, hurts, and disappointments. Free to taste the good things God has prepared for you. (Ephesians 2:10)


Night and the Kitchen (Angel in the Kitchen)


Some little time ago the sun disappeared behind the line of trees bordering our home, and now the whole world — or so it seems — has been plunged into darkness. Night has fallen. Silent and impenetrable, like a heavy suffocating shroud.

In our kitchen, also, darkness covers the countertops and veils the cabinets. We can easily imagine the appliances all slumbering, each of them tucked away … waiting for a new dawn.

And yet, there’s a ghostly light, glowing faint and green. It manifests itself as a set of cryptic numbers, which appear to hover motionless against the night … until a single digit changes … advancing the time, keeping track of the long hours before the faithful sun reappears in the east.

“2:10 a.m.” announces the clock above the range. Unseen by us, Sparky (the gas range) has been keeping watch. While most of the surrounding world sleeps, he lies awake, maintaining the optimum pressure of propane in his lines, ready to flame on at a moment’s notice, should one of us need him in the wee hours. Perhaps he’s contemplating the fried eggs he’ll help to prepare in the morning; or perhaps he simply lies quietly, sensing the presence of another appliance huddled in the darkness, biding its time till breakfast.

Sparky flashes the time — 2:11 a.m. — to his patient kitchen mate, Mr. Keurig, who’s been keeping the water in his reservoir nice and hot, lest he be unprepared to make us cocoa after we suddenly awaken from a bad
dream. He gently whispers a prayer that sounds like the swish of an angel’s wings; and Sparky smiles, knowing his friend has had too much caffeine!

From across the room a dull groan pierces the darkness, followed by a startling ker-chunk!  2:12 a.m…. Fridgey has been making ice all along, while preserving the foods entrusted to his care! Like Sparky and Mr. Keurig, he never sleeps. He stays on duty 24/7, patiently waiting, preparing, preserving, and protecting throughout the night.

These angels in the kitchen are always ready to spring into action at a moment’s notice. They understand we need them, and never need a lot of coaxing to meet our needs!

In life, too, “night” has a way of creeping in. We suddenly find ourselves facing difficult problems, and the future starts to look black. The Son (of God) seems to have disappeared for a time, and we can sense a spiritual darkness falling around us “Silent and impenetrable, like a heavy suffocating shroud.” We feel alone, perhaps even fearful, and we begin to doubt everything we know and believe in.

But we’re never alone in the dark hours of life. God is always present — even if we can’t see Him or feel His presence! And like those faithful appliances in the kitchen, He’s always working on our behalf, looking out for our best interests, constantly able and ready to “supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19 NLT) And (as Mr. Keurig seems to know) He’s only a whispered prayer away!

Our Heavenly Father encourages each of us to “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things….” (Jeremiah 33:3 AKJV) Furthermore, He’s always listening and answering — 24/7 — because He never sleeps. (Psalm 121:4 NLT) Instead, God quietly and patiently continues to care for us throughout our darkest hours.

So when the night closes in, call out to the Creator of the Universe. Like Fridgey, Sparky and Mr. Keurig, the Lord is always present, always
vigilant, always “preparing, preserving, and protecting [us] throughout the night.” Never lose faith, and never forget: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” (John 1:5 NLT)

A new day will soon dawn. Start it — and every day — by looking up! Look to God both day and night, remembering He’s always on the job! Follow the example of the Psalmist, who wrote: “I lift up my eyes to the hills…. [Because] My help comes from the LORD. …He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.” (Psalm 121:1-4 ESV)