Several years ago, my favorite frying pan, a wedding present, sat sunny side up in the dirty side of my stainless steel kitchen sink. I grimaced at the thick layer of caked-on, burnt scrambled eggs.
Make that disgusting side up.
Rather than wake me at an ungodly hour, my husband, Adam, had fixed his own breakfast. Only most of it had stayed behind in the supposedly nonstick skillet. It would take a really good scrubbing to get it clean.
I groaned. Why couldn’t you have just poached them in the microwave, honey?
Sighing, I turned away from the sink. I had to make my own breakfast. To prove I could not burn the eggs, I prepared another skillet to join the one already waiting for me.
Soon, I had scrambled eggs to eat off a paper plate and a second frying pan to clean, one victoriously in better condition than my husband had left his in. I turned to the sink for the first time since breakfast had absorbed my attention.
Odd. My wedding set frying pan still lay in the dirty side of the sink, but now it was sunny side down. Frowning, I picked it up.
A spotlessly clean skillet smiled back at me.
What’s this? I could have sworn this thing was filthy. Must’ve just imagined it.
Shrugging, I set the skillet face down in the clean dishes’ side of the sink.
After a busy morning, I pulled myself away from my home office to read my Bible and pray. I’d been going through the Gospel of Mark, and had gotten up into the rather lengthy chapter fourteen. I stopped cold at Christ’s words in verse thirty. “Assuredly, I say to you that today, even this night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.”
What was sending chills down my spine? That Peter would deny the Lord? That if such a saint could be tempted, what of us?
Nope. One word sent me into a tizzy: Twice.
Soon, I was flipping back and forth between Mathew and Mark, getting my heart rate and blood pressure up sky high. As if the eternal fate of all humankind rested upon me determining how many times one Judean rooster crowed on one fateful night nearly two millennia ago.
Had Jesus said the rooster would crow once, as he did in Matthew, or twice as he did in Mark? Had it crowed once like he said, or twice like he said? How could I reconcile Matthew’s account to Mark’s account?
I had to solve this earth-shattering dilemma! The inerrancy of the scriptures was at stake!
Of course, it’s a fallacy to hold a millennia-old book to modern standards. And, even in modern police investigations, honest accounts from honest witnesses can differ on minor details and may even seem to out right contradict each other. We only get four totally identical accounts of events from four witnesses when they’ve collaborated and agreed to a fake story.
That morning, though, “logical, rational Andrea,” proceeded to send hysterical, “urgent” messages to my husband and church friends fretting over how many times the cock had crowed on the morning of the crucifixion. None of them provided answers satisfactory to my “logical, rational” thinking. Neither did the apologists I found on Google. At that moment, God didn’t seem much inclined to answer my question, either.
If I did something productive that afternoon, it was on automatic as my mind was focused on how many times a rooster had crowed on the most important night in history.
This lasted until Adam came home that evening. After spending half an hour attempting to reassure me about the rooster, he said, “Oh! Sorry about leaving the frying pan such a mess. I didn’t have time to deal with it.”
My jaw fell open, and I asked him to again verify he had left a frying pan with burnt scrambled eggs stuck to it for me to clean up this morning. When I answered his natural question of why he needed to repeat that, Adam started laughing.
I frowned and put my hands on my hips. “What’s so funny?”
“Only that you’re so worked up over a rooster after God washed a frying pan for you.”
At that, I ran into the kitchen. Said frying pan lay in the sink where I’d left it, still spotlessly clean without any human effort—and I rarely get dishes that dirty that clean so fast.
A thorough examination of the dirty sink’s drain revealed tiny bits of scrambled egg. I picked the frying pan up gingerly, like it might electrocute me.
Once the dumbfounded reverent awe wore off a little, I attacked the skillet left from my breakfast, still waiting on the stove to be washed. A goofy grin spread my lips. “If God can scrub a skillet, so can I!”
Heaven sat quietly as I petitioned the Lord. He’d already answered well before I thought to ask. If God was laughing at me, I had earned it.
Christians can be as skeptical as atheists of everyday miracles. Some prefer to believe I’d forgotten scrubbing the first pan and had deviated from my habits by scrubbing it promptly and leaving it in the sink that I wash dishes in rather than in the sink I left washed pans to dry in. But I am a creature of habit. No way had the woman I was then scrubbed it before I had breakfast.
God is capable of having answered a question about a chicken by scrubbing a skillet with burned scrambled eggs stuck to it before I had asked. And God would answer a question about a trivial matter with a illustration of what was truly important. Christ’s grace cleanses ours souls much the way God took the time to cleanse in a moment the filthiest skillet I’d ever seen.
Also, we can fall into thinking such everyday tasks are unimportant and that God doesn’t see or care. Let’s be reminded today that the Lord does see. The Lord does care.