Monday, November 5, 2012

On burned fingers

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Every so often I get myself onto Martha mode. You know the feeling. Do, do, do, please, please, please, serve, serve, serve. Somehow I slip back into thinking that pleasing others is the Christian thing to do, and that doing something is what brings me closer to God.

I get into "the groove" and impress myself with the stamina I possess. I may clean my entire house, prepare a nice meal and iron clothes never stopping to assess whether I need a break. Just three more things and I am done. And then the three turn to eight, and then twelve.

Yesterday, with a sick husband at home, I got all Martha-like. I was on a roll, serving with a smile and loving it. Grocery store? Check. Scrubbing floors? Check. Cooking pasta? Check. Yet another glass of orange juice for the hubby? Check. 

All the while focusing on the next thing. Vacuuming while taking note of the shelves that need dusting. Dusting while considering what the next load of laundry will be. Loading the washer while thinking about what vegetables to serve for lunch.

In the midst of this whirlwind I did something so stupid. I reached for a skillet that was sitting on the stove, and as I held it, the handle burned my hand. It took me a whole five seconds of figuring out why was it hot since it's burner wasn't on. It was like a slow motion scene in a movie, when you know the reasonable thing to do is drop it, but you just keeping wondering why is this happening.

It turns out the skillet was touching the pasta pot, so the heat got transferred. It looked harmless, but touch proved otherwise, and was enough to keep my fingers in a bowl of iced water for a couple of hours after that. And maybe my lack of quick response proved that although I felt fine, I was reaching exhaustion. So a little burn was the way God made me stop and be still.