As I placed my knife on the striped green skin, anticipating a juicy red belly, an acute analogy popped into my head: we are like watermelons. No one knows what’s on the inside of us until we’re cut into.
It’s even interesting to think about the fact that the very center and core of a watermelon is called the “heart.” Luke 6:45 says, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” And in my case, my mouth usually opens up fully when I’m cut — hurt in some way.
Being hurt happens in many ways; I’m not necessarily referring to abuse—that is a huge topic within itself — but we Christians get the watermelon test every day while waiting on traffic, while dealing with repairs, living through health issues, raising children, changing jobs, etc.
So when we’re “cut open,” what comes out of us? Harsh words? Anger? Retaliation? Judgment? Or sweet grace, mercy, and kindness?
I found myself driving in some pretty heavy traffic the other day. Most of the day I had been out and about running errands and I was ready to come home, settle down and make dinner. Five minutes from my house, I’m sitting in a turning lane and when the light changed to green, nobody moved. After a 10-second eternity, the car at the front of the line finally saw it and turned the corner. Then the signal switched back to red again. Out of the long line of vehicles waiting, only one car turned. Now I had to wait for the entire cycle of traffic lights to circle around again.
To be honest, I was furious. I shouted and yelled, “C’mon people! Really?” with the windows up, fortunately. My skin got cut and the interior that was revealed wasn’t a sweet succulent heart. It was anger, impatience, and judgment. Then a still small voice came from deep inside me saying, “Be anxious for nothing.” (Phil. 4:6) Thankfully, there was a good thing stored deep in my heart, it just wasn’t the first thing that appeared. Didn’t go through that watermelon test with flying colors.
A few days afterwards, a friend of mine asked if I could help her with something one morning. This would “cut” into my scheduled agenda, however, I easily rearranged things and I agreed to meet up. I believe friends and family (relationships) take precedent over whatever plans I have. My schedule was adjustable, so I readily adjusted. Ah, the smell of a ripe watermelon popping open. Passed that one.
How about you? When you’re cut into, what’s on the inside of your watermelon? Some days are better than others, I know. There are days we’re red and sweet and delicious, and other times when we’re barely pink and — well — yucky tasting. That’s life. But try looking for those watermelon tests (without judgment on yourself, of course). It’s a simple way to check what’s in our heart at that moment.
Now let me get back to cutting my watermelon up.