The can opener

Mar 10, 2015

1,000,000 trillion is the exaggerated number of handheld can openers I have purchased here in the D.R.  Last year I received the gift of an electric can opener from the states. I. have. never.been.more. pleased.

It's not that I mind using the hand held kind - I really don't. But the D.R. just doesn't offer well made can openers. True story. And, as it turns out, sometimes the power supply can't always accommodate such a high powered tool as an electric can opener.

The lulling, whirring of the shiny metal going round and round was mesmerizing like the tumble of clothes in the dryer, melodically uneventful.  Had I not been so angry at it, I may have been hypnotized by it, that can going round and round.

Due to circumstances beyond my control or understanding, the blade of the electric can opener was not engaging and so the can just.kept.going.round.  There I sat fuming with umpteen cans of stuff waiting to be poured into the taco soup while the crushed tomatoes went round -n- round like a carousel horse on a merry - go - ground. But. There was NO merriness here.

Exasperated by a long list of silly things that don't matter, I found myself contemplating . . .  how much am I like that can going round and round, circle after circle in the same direction, but expecting different results?  The very definition of insanity.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm just so self centered that I see myself as an object lesson in every situation - but often, when I share these things, I KNOW that the Lord is speaking to me in a way that is like pruning a diseased limb off a tree.

In this case, the realization that I was the can was both infuriating and a relief.  Infuriating because I was at the height of frustration with little things in my life, and a relief because I knew I needed the sharp blade of the Lord's word to poke me, making my contents spill out. I desperately needed a Holy slap - not that God would do that, or would He? (I believe He would. He loves us enough to not leave us as we are!)

When I become enraged by the difficulty of something that "should" simply be easy, like opening a can of crushed tomatoes, I am really just being an entitled brat. Missionaries can be entitled brats. It's NOT what we're supposed to be or what we strive for - but believe me, it CAN happen. And in this moment, my attitude revealed it HAD happened.

I had grown to mentally demand ease in the little things - AFTER ALL, I have made sacrifices in big areas. Therefore, I deserve EASE in the basics, RIGHT? My thinking was dripping with entitlement and I KNEW IT. Yuck.  The very thing I DON"T want to teach my children had laced the very framework of my thoughts. SLAP.  And like that, the blade pierces down and the juice begins to pool on the top of the can.

BUT GOD . . . . I love it that HE speaks to me in ways that make it real for me.  That HE gives me such pictures that I can relate to - even when I don't want to relate to them.  I love it that His word is sharper than a two-edged sword! What around you in your life is God using to speak to you? What is HE saying?

"For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edgedsword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart." Hebrews 4:12


  1. well, I'm still very happy with my "manual" can opener that I bought for 100 pesos....

  2. This is simply brilliant. The Truth just pierces right where it needs to…oh boy. Thank you for writing this!! (Just found your blog from the link on your Velvet Ashes article - can't wait to read my way through the whole blog now!)


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