MY GRANDMOTHER'S FRYING PAN
My grandmother on my mother’s side died the year before I was born so I never had a chance to meet her. I only had the stories that my mother told me about her. One such story was about a frying pan.
In the early part of the 20th century (1900’s My mother was born in 1908)) most people cooked with cast iron. Steel pots and pans were not yet used. The same was true in my mother’s home. My grandmother had a large cast iron frying pan that had been used for years and had become “well-seasoned.” This meant that it had years of grease and oil built into it which made the cooking easier, and things didn’t stick to the surface like it would on a “new” unseasoned pan. The edges were in a rough built up state, but it still did a good job. My mother was a young girl and decided to “clean” the frying pan. She scrubbed and scrubbed away the build-up, and suddenly a hole developed in the bottom of the pan. You see, the build up had been there for a long time, and eventually it covered the iron underneath it. My mother thought she was doing the right thing by “cleaning” it, but in cleaning it, it caused a hole.
She never told me if she got into trouble, but I suppose she did. It took years for my grandmother to get that pan into its “usable” state, and in one cleaning it was all destroyed.
As I was thinking about that frying pan this morning I thought about lives. Lives that have become well-seasoned over the years. Some of which have layers of hurts and imperfections that the seasoning has covered over. Yet the difference between that frying pan and a life, is that the frying pan needed the layers of seasoning, but a life suffers because of it. When the “well-seasoned” hurts of the past are covered up with layers of “unhealed hurts” it can lead to a hard-bitter surface. These things don’t surface in an old cast iron pan, but they do in our lives.
We need the cleaning agent of Holy Spirit to daily cleanse away those hurts so the layers on top of them don’t turn to bitterness. The hurts that are cleansed cause our lives to become full of hope and give us a future that is full of promise. Perhaps like that old pan we have allowed the hurts to build up. We need to let God cleanse deeply enough to bring life back in those wounded areas.
An old fry pan can be replaced, and a new one can be seasoned, but a life can’t be thrown away that easily. Perhaps today is the day or the “season” that you need to let God go deep and get rid of those “build ups”. After all, you’re worth a whole lot more to him than an old cast iron fry pan.