I was on the point of turning over to Radio Scotland when Woss began talking about sauce bottles. He referred to the advert where someone gives a couple of sound slaps to the bottom of an invisible bottle and out pops the ketchup, and the bottle materialises. He talked about his preference for a glass bottle over the squeezy plastic one. Personally the slap on the bottom of the bottle has never worked for me, particularly to get the last dribs lurking at the bottom. Vigorous shaking and poking a knife into the neck of the bottle has been my preferred solution.
Liquiglide is the answer. Massachusetts Institute of Technology has come up with Liquiglide - the first and only product "to create permanently wet slippery surfaces". The plan is to coat the inside surface of bottles and jars with Liquiglide, so the sauce slides out easily. If this was April 1st I would classify it as a very good April Fool’s joke. Woss’s worry, or should that be wowwy, was that the sauce would slide out of the bottle so quickly that his sausages would be like sharks swimming in a sea of ketchup.
I am getting further behind with Bonhoeffer in our 40 days walk. He is not quite out of sight but we are not walking shoulder to shoulder. Life and other commitments have interfered.
The focus was on giving in one of the devotionals. I had checked my bank balance the day before pay day and was pleasantly surprised to see it wasn’t empty. It was more a shock to see so much left over at the end of the month that I began to think about an unpaid bill somewhere. Giving and some money left over at the end of the month seemed to go hand in hand. It was as if this particular devotional, the time I got around t reading it and the presence of some money were like planets aligned. I couldn’t operate on a fall-back position that I couldn’t afford to give. As Bonhoeffer put it so well – even when I can’t afford to give I can’t afford NOT to give.
I am very unlike my husband. If there were canny Scots in our houshold with their presumed frugal habits, carefully counting out the coppers, it’s not him. I must be that Scot by marriage not birth. I am a rainy day kind of girl and the rain needs to be the Noah’s Flood variety before I part with my spare cash. I am getting better over the years and blessing people around me, but only after intense dialogue with myself and with God. It encouraged me the other day when I discovered the leftover money in the bank that my first thought, accompanied with joy, was about who I could bless. OK so I haven’t blessed anyone yet – one has to wait for the weekend to do that! Does one really? Is this yet another procrastination in the life of me?
So, there I was, listening to Woss harp on about sauce bottles, sausages and Liquiglide.
“It’s a pity,” said God, as we safely negotiated a very small roundabout on the way home, “that something like Liquiglide didn’t occur to me when I created people. If only the giving heart in you was coated with Liquiglide, the compassion and the mercy would flow out so easily instead of stubbornly lurking somewhere at the bottom. I could just tip you up, and out it would all come. People would be swimming in a sea of love! There would be no waiting for the weekend to bless people.”
I didn’t point out that it’s not only compassion and mercy that reside in the heart of me, simply because I didn’t think about it as the time. In the heart of me, living uncomfortably side by side with compassion and mercy, are the grudges and the complaints, the petty resentments and, at times, the unforgiving attitudes. They shouldn’t be there, but they are because I am human.
Maybe I ought to live my life as if my heart was coated in Liquiglide – perhaps then I would deal so quickly with those negative things, taking them before God to deal with, and stop allowing them to live side by side with compassion and mercy. I would be swift to encourage and I wouldn’t have that extra money waiting for the weekend to bless someone with.
But then, where does obedience come in, the sacrifice that hurts, if everything just slides out unhindered.
Maybe it’s best to leave Liquiglide tothe sauce bottles.