The meatloaf was cooking when I left to go and do an errand. According to my calculation it would be cooked by the time I got home.
As I was driving home I started to worry, Did I turn down the oven before I left? I thought I did. I know I set the oven to 350 degrees for about twenty minutes and then I turned it to low before I left. Didn’t I?
When I looked in the oven, the meatloaf was black. Black like my darkroom in art school when I developed my own film. Black like our two cats. Black like the goat manure I put in my garden. I didn’t turn down the temperature of the oven. I overcooked the food. I burnt it.
But what about the inside of the meatloaf? Was the center of the meatloaf burnt too?
Would there be beauty in the middle of the black ugliness?
If you think something is ugly, look harder. Ugliness is just a failure of seeing.
― Matt Haig, The Humans
Was my burnt meatloaf really ugly, or was it just a failure of seeing? What would Matt Haig say about my burnt dinner? Maybe he would ask us to look harder.
I was going to throw the meat loaf away. Is it burnt all the way through? I cut it in half and noticed a small sliver of meatloaf that was edible between the two burnt layers.
God looks at the heart like I looked at the center of my burnt meatloaf.
I know God was talking about being handsome when he said he didn’t pick Saul to be king. But I’ll bet he also meant burnt meatloaf.
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.
Samuel 16:7 (ESV)
Man looks at the burnt meatloaf and wants to throw it away, but God is not concerned with outward appearances, and sees the good meat in the center of the burnt food.
And my husband who ate the meatloaf saw the heart of the woman who tried to make him a nice meal.
“Hey, this tastes good with ketchup!”
God is not concerned with outward appearance, but with the state of our heart.
Some days I am a burnt meatloaf that is burnt all the way through. The inside of my meatloaf life is filled with bitterness and anger. I think about things that are unlovely and dwell on the negative.
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Get rid of your bitterness and your rage
Everyone is a burnt meatloaf. We all have been wounded, burnt. We all have scars. Some are unseen. The burning is in our mind as we remember the negative comments from our childhood. From teachers who laughed at our writing, to strangers who laughed at what we created.
It is up to us to keep the inside of our meatloaf, our life, our hearts, free from bitterness.
Control your thoughts, think about the truth. And the truth is that you are loved and valuable. God made you, and He loves you very much.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.
Philippians 4:8 NIV, written by Paul, when he was a prisoner
If you were a burnt meatloaf, what would God find on the inside? What is the condition of your heart?
What does the inside of your meatloaf look like? Please tell me in the comments. I would love to chat.
Please email me if you would like me to pray for the condition of your meatloaf. firstname.lastname@example.org