The gift shop sparkled with luxury table settings -fine china, crystal goblets, bright jeweled napkin rings and silver cutlery in perfect formation. Totally impressive, and totally out of my price range. More utilitarian items for food preparations artistically occupied the shelves at the back, much like the way the mess of a kitchen is kept out of sight from a formal dining room. That’s where the simple bowls caught my eye.
My mother was a marvelous cook. It’s how she expressed her love for her family and friends. She loved being in the kitchen and throwing Martha Stewart-style dinner parties with her best china. I appreciate people with the gift of hospitality, but it feels like an awful lot of work. For me, time in the kitchen is an act of sacrifice. There are other areas of the house I enjoy more, but I extend myself to cook for those I love.
Those bowls stacked on a shelf reminded me of mixing pancake batter or homemade granola bars for my kids and grandchildren. I have a few nice pieces of china and silver and crystal and serving platters I inherited, but I seldom use them. I keep them on a high shelf so they won’t be knocked about, but they are a pain to get down, so they sit there looking pretty. My mixing bowls are chipped and the colour is practically worn off in places -and the finish is crazed where it is not. They are not as impressive as the pretty bowls in the shop, but they are the faithful servants in my kitchen.
I am often amazed by the “people vessels” God chooses to express his love through. Most of them are not “high shelf” people. They have chips and cracks. Their finish can be a bit crazed, but what comes out of them nurtures my soul. God loves ordinary people. What comes out is all about what he puts into them anyway.
Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31 The Message)