For I am conscious of my rebellion, and my sin is always before me. Against You—You alone—I have sinned and done this evil in your sight.” Psalm 51:3-4
I should have just stayed home. You probably don’t know there is such a thing as a stupid watermelon but if you live long enough you will surely run into one. In my case it happened just a couple of weeks ago at our local grocery store. Before I begin the story you need to know that I am one of those slightly older people who has “old people’s skin.” In case you don’t know “old people’s skin” happens as a person ages. The result is skin that bruises and wounds easily. Let me just say, “It ain’t fun.” It goes like this.
You are opening the storm door with one of those automatic closing things. The wind catches the door, banging into your arm. Congratulations…you are the proud owner of a new bruise. You are carrying a pile of limbs to the rubbish pile and one shifts in your hands and against, or rather into, your arm. You win again. You are going up the stairs…yes, I said up the stairs, and your foot catches on the riser and you fall against the wall. Double congratulations…you win a bruise and cut. Sigh.
And it is always the hand you use the most. In my case I am left-handed so my left arm continually looks like I play major league football or have wrestled with a full-grown lion. Either way…its’ not pretty. And mark my word, just about the time you get it healed up…bam…you start all over again. That, dear friends, is where the stupid watermelon comes along.
I don’t do grocery stores. I definitely do food…I just don’t do grocery shopping. Well, one evening I was feeling pretty jovial and decided to go to the grocery store with my wife Judy. We enter the store and get one of those cute (on no…I said cute again) mini baskets and off we go. We are heading back to the bakery so I am in a particularly good mood. I can already taste the greasy, fried dough. Then…it happens. There is a sign that says, “Watermelons – $3.99.” Judy loves watermelons.
We pause and begin to study the watermelons. She thumps them. She pats them. She caresses them. After several minutes the winner is chosen. “I want this one” she declares. Her galant, strong prince, hoists the winning melon out of the bin of losers and prepares to put it in the buggy. Because we have a mini-buggy, I decided to put it in the bottom rather than the top. That is where things got ugly.
I bend over and prepare to slide the watermelon into the too small bottom portion of the buggy. Just at the time of releasing the melon and removing my hand—it slips. As it falls into the too small bottom portion it rolls on my hand and catches my finger between the basket and watermelon. “Ouch,” I said. When I was able to maneuver my finger from between the basket and melon—I saw it. Not a bruise…oh no…but a nice ¾ inch skin laceration. It was bleeding. Badly. Profusely. It was then the true nature of the melon escaped my lips, “Stupid watermelon.” No wonder they were on sale for $3.99.
It seems at least they could have put a sign up that read, “Stupid Watermelons – $3.99.”
Well, I quickly became obsessed over the true nature of the evil watermelon. “Hey Judy, do you have a tourniquet to stop the bleeding from the stupid watermelon?” “Honey, do you want some cheese to go with the stupid watermelon?” On and on it went and the watermelon and I became mortal enemies. And the coup-de-grace? Not only was it stupid…it wasn’t even sweet. Sigh.
But no, I had to find out the hard way. About then Judy said something like, “Well, it really wasn’t the watermelon…it was the buggy.” I began to protest but I think she said something like, “And you know it happened because it slipped out of your hand.” By that I assumed she meant the one that was cut and bleeding. Somehow it didn’t make my hand feel any better and two weeks later I still have some healing to do. But…she was right.
It wasn’t the watermelon, it wasn’t the buggy it wasn’t even me. It was just one of those things that happen. I just needed to blame something because my hand hurt and 746 people were going to ask, “What happened to your hand?” Blaming it on a stupid watermelon just seemed easier. The truth is, it is easier to blame than it is to own. It has been that way since the beginning of time. In the garden, Adam blamed Eve and God for the hot mess they were in after they chose to sin. Eve, of course, blamed the serpent and the serpent, well, he just smiled. Whether it is broken skin or a broken heart; whether it is someone’s fault or not; whether you own part of the skirmish or all of it—why not take a moment and own it. Press the pause button, calm down and then just eat the watermelon. That way, you will get the last laugh. Then, tell God about it, all about it and take a rest in Him. He’s got that and this.