Dinner tonight was pure vegetarian. Ted and I are not vegetarians but simply enjoy meatless meals as much as ones with meat. Tonight we were to each have a big fat baked potato, roasted broccoli, and Asian slaw with cabbage, carrots and almonds. We were hungry and anxious to eat. It had been a long work day for both of us. I microwaved our potatoes tonight to save time. I was first to get my potato on my plate and eager to split it open so I could top it with some butter and cheese. As I smashed the potato open and the brown skin broke away, my potato was … well … it was green! Not just a spot of green – it was all over green. It was darker green near the surface but still green tinged as I dug deeper. Ted showed up and I pointed out my green potato, but I was so hungry I decided to eat it anyways. It smelled normal and the bit I tested tasted normal. But I happened to say to Ted that I once had read that you shouldn’t eat green potatoes. Ted broke into his potato, and his was green too! “Well let’s find out for real” he replied, referring to getting to the truth about green potatoes. He did a search on the internet and sure enough – you shouldn’t eat green potatoes! Basically, the green is a build-up of chlorophyll which then produces a substance that is toxic and can make you sick to your stomach. Large amounts can cause paralysis of the central nervous system and one website spoke of it being a carcinogen. Read it for yourself at snopes.com: http://www.snopes.com/food/ingredient/potato.asp
The potatoes got trashed.
I couldn’t believe how my lovely spuds with their brown jackets had hidden green flesh inside. I just didn’t see it. The green was hidden beneath the surface.
Ahhh … of course I can relate this to real-life!
How many of us go to work, or to a friend’s house, or to church and put on this perfectly lovely façade when underneath, we are really not-so-good? We’ve all done it. We might be feeling ill, we might be angry at our spouse, we might be trying to hide how tired we are, or we might be sad or upset over something. But then we put on a happy face to pretend that everything is alright. Inside, we are not alright. I guess the good news here is that just when we are thinking that no one understands or knows how we feel, we must remember that God knows.
Psalm 38:9 O Lord, all my longing is known to you; my sighing is not hidden from you.
I love the wording of this Psalm – ‘my SIGHing is not hidden from you.’
The other thing to keep in mind is that if we often spend our days hiding the brokenness beneath a happy facade, then others must be doing it too. If someone else treats you in a mean, impatient, angry, or indifferent way they just may be hurting inside over something. They are hiding their pain beneath a false coat of contentment. Hopefully God can give us the eyes to see when others are like this so that we can show some compassion.
Here’s hoping that we all have happy exterior coats that are not hiding toxic green interiors! But if your insides are hurting – you aren’t keeping it hidden from God! You better talk to Him.
And be on the look-out for the green spuds out there – people who are hiding beneath their own false exteriors – maybe you can lend a hand.
And don’t eat green potatoes.