Last week, I put a stick of butter in a pan, turned on the burner, and reached for the milk.

Only a few drops left.

I thought, “If I leave now, I can stop at the store before I have to pick up Lindsay.” So that’s what I did. Only I forgot to turn off the burner.

Thirty minutes later, I came home to this:
(FYI, our cupboards are ordinarily white and that’s not  a shadow under the microwave. Notice the knobs melted off on the right?)

Obviously I take full responsibility. But that didn’t stop me from hysterically yelling halfway around the world (via Skype) to my husband about:

                 “…fire in our kitchen!”

                ”…smoke damage!!!”

                “…melted microwave!!!”

I was frantic about getting the attic fan turned on, and needed him to tell me how to remove the seal in the attic. So what did he do? He hung up on me. Yes he did. He couldn’t find a way to turn down the volume on the Skype call, and my hysteria wasn’t fitting the ambiance of the Malaysian restaurant, where he was having breakfast. There was the clink of china, the rustling of newspapers, and the hysterical screams of a frantic wife. One sound had to go.
Well, guess who wasn’t happy about the brevity of our call? When you’ve caused a fire, put your kids at risk, and are trying to save your house from smoke damage, you don’t worry about maintaining your ‘fine dining’ tone of voice. Ken obviously couldn’t smell the smoke or see the black haze in the air. All he could see was the awkward glances of people around him. 
Ken’s back home now. We’ve reconciled. And the smoke effects are (almost) gone. But I’m still thinking about my tone of voice. How often do I ‘keep my voice down’ about Jesus out of social courtesy? Even when I’m very, very concerned about a friend’s future without Christ, I minimize my volume because I don’t want to make a scene (which, apparently, I can–even in other hemispheres).

But the more I read the Bible, the more I can smell the smoke and see the haze in a reality without Jesus. It makes me want to abandon my ‘fine dining’ tone and crank out some noise. Sure, my friends might hang up. But they also might listen, come out of the haze, and see Jesus for the first time.

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