All Those Layers
Somewhere along the way, you may have been taught that onions don’t belong in the refrigerator. Well, I’m here today to testify: they don’t.
Okay–here’s the thing. Habitually, I put an onion in the fridge for some hours before I peel it to reduce its impact on my tear ducts. And last week featured a killer sore throat and a few other unexpected twists and turns in the schedule. Long story short: An onion spent several days, unsupervised and unpeeled, in my refrigerator.
Last Sunday, at daybreak, I stood in the kitchen in my jammies and set about peeling that overlooked onion. It was Potluck Sunday at our church and I had offered to bring stuffing for our early Thanksgiving feast. I sleepily removed the onion from the fridge and set about peeling it.
As soon as I sliced off the root end, I saw something wrong. Right at the center of the onion’s layers, a murky ring of black ickiness had inserted itself between the perfect white layers. It did not look like anything that belonged in my stuffing.
So I set about excising the yucky gunk from the otherwise spotless onion. It looked like a simple enough operation. But as I trimmed away the offensive, impure bits, I saw more and more of that onion that had been affected by the encroaching mold. The more I cut away, the more I saw that needed to be cut away.
By the time I’d removed all the tainted parts of the onion, the sorry little heap that remained didn’t resemble an onion.
Defeated, I tossed the whole pitiable mess in the rubbish and took a fresh, room-temperature onion from my pantry. Yes, I wept as I peeled it, but at least I had decent onion for my stuffing.
As I diced the celery, I found myself reflecting on my great big God and on redemption.
Because while God redeems us, when we ask Him into our lives, He doesn’t undo the history of our lives.
He could completely wipe out every remnant of bad events in my life–undo whatever damage they had done and erase the memories from my mind. He’s a great big God. In His omnipotence, He could erase every consequence of my bad decisions, wipe away every fearful scar left behind from hurts inflicted by other people.
He doesn’t. And until I cut up that rotten onion, I didn’t know why.
17 Fools, because of their rebellious way,
And because of their iniquities, were afflicted.
18 Their soul abhorred all kinds of food,
And they drew near to the gates of death.
19 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble;
He saved them out of their distresses.
20 He sent His word and healed them,
And delivered them from their destructions.
21 Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!
22 Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And tell of His works with joyful singing.
Psalm 107:17-22 (NASB)