Things Aren’t Always What They Seem

Monument 1Several years ago, I went on a missions trip to Uruguay. The people were incredibly nice, and I loved my time there! On one of our final days, our team visited Montevideo just for fun. The city was incredible. I had a great time shopping and looking at all of the buildings and statues. At one point, we visited the tomb of a very important person in Uruguayan history. Descending a flight of stairs, we entered a quiet, dimly lit room. In the center of the vault was a huge, golden urn flanked by two wax statues of soldiers.

I was fascinated by those wax figures. They were life-sized, and the artistic detail was absolutely amazing. I studied them for quite a while and finally took a picture. I couldn’t get over the stunning artistry. The room wasn’t well lit, and I was having a difficult time seeing them as clearly as I desired. As the room cleared of tourists, and the crowd around the urn melted away, I saw my chance. I HAD to get a better look at those statues! I crept close to one and studied the wax figure’s uniform. Then I crept even closer and stood nose-to-nose with statue and studied its face. The detail was amazing. Whoever created the statue was a genius! I crept even closer and studied the statue’s eyes.

Suddenly, the statue blinked.

!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jumping about five feet backward in a single leap, I clutched my thumping heart and looked at the statue with a dropped jaw.

THE WAX FIGURE WAS ALIVE!!!!!!!!

Monument 2My whole world tilted and spun. I had been standing nose-to-nose with a real-life Uruguayan soldier dressed in a fancy, full uniform. The man blinked again, but other than that, his expression didn’t change. He didn’t flex a muscle. I swear that he didn’t even breathe. Feeling like a total idiot, I bobbed a little curtsey and got out of there just as fast as I could. I wasn’t sure if the soldier thought I was rude, half-witted, or a security threat—but I didn’t want to find out.

Down through the years, I’ve thought quite a bit about that living “wax statue.” I was convinced that I knew exactly what I was seeing, but I was deceived. Now days, when I’m CERTAIN that I know EXACTLY what’s going on, I always take a step backward and try to see things from several different angles. I’ve learned that things aren’t always how they appear. I’ve also learned that being dead sure about a situation—or about a person’s intentions—is the quickest way for me to make a total idiot of myself. After all, I’ve stood nose-to-nose with a wax statue and seen it blink!


shocked face“So be careful not to jump to conclusions before the Lord returns as to whether someone is a good servant or not. When the Lord comes, He will turn on the light so everyone can see exactly what each one of us is really like, deep down in our hearts… At that time God will give to each one whatever praise is coming to him.”
 — 1 Corinthians 4:5

YIKES!!! IS THAT A HOLE IN YOUR SKIRT???

spark3If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know that I’m a horrible klutz. An extremely horrible klutz! I’m always getting myself into silly situations. Years ago, when I went on a missions trip to Uruguay, I managed to keep my clumsy tendencies under control—at least until one fateful Sunday morning when I woke up freezing. I scrambled quickly into my dressy clothes and then stood with my back to a heater trying to warm my chilly legs. When I finally warmed up, I turned around and heard my roommate gasp, “Yikes! Is that a hole in your skirt?”

coalSpinning around, I tried to see the back of my velvety skirt. For a moment, I closely resembled a puppy chasing its tail. Eventually, I went to a mirror and took a good look. The heater had melted a hole that was roughly the size of a salad plate into the back of my skirt. I gasped. I had no idea what type of material my skirt was made out of, but I was lucky I hadn’t caught on fire. I was also lucky that I had a friend who hadn’t let me leave the room in such an undignified condition.

fire longI’ve thought quite a bit about that hole over the years, and I still can’t believe that I didn’t feel my skirt melting. And worse—I can’t believe how close I came to flashing my underpants to a whole Uruguayan church. The more I’ve thought about that hole, the more a truth has been revealed. You see, I think sin is a lot like that Uruguayan heater. The minute you get close to it, you put yourself in danger. If you don’t move away, your skirt begins to melt, and you open yourself up to destruction, ridicule, and embarrassment. And if you keep on going, you might just flash your underpants to a whole group of people. (Oh, the horror!!!) You never manage to get away with sin—it always leaves a mark.

inferno1Sin is such a hideous thing. It starts out small and innocent. It seems easy to control. It’s like a tiny spark that slowly grows into an ember that turns into a small flame that gradually increases into an uncontrollable inferno. I didn’t realize I was getting into trouble when I stood by that heater, but I ended up ruining my favorite skirt. I think that’s the way sin works. You usually don’t realize you are in trouble until it’s too late. I’m so grateful to my friend who pointed out the hole in my skirt before I embarrassed myself, and today, if you’re getting just a little too close to sin—let me be that friend for you. “YIKES!!! IS THAT A HOLE IN YOUR SKIRT??  FOR GOODNESS SAKE, GET AWAY FROM THAT HEATER!!!!”

 

fire far away“If anyone hears the trumpet but does not take warning…his blood will be on his own head.” Ezekiel 33:4

(Lol!! Hey, you try to find a Bible verse about melted skirts, space heaters, and sin—it simply isn’t there!!)

Have a wonderful day, my friends!!