Hi friends! I originally posted this way back in 2010, when I was too shy to let the Facebook world know that I was writing things. I'm re-posting it today as part of Momastery's Messy, Beautiful Warrior Project. To learn more and join us, CLICK HERE! And to learn about the New York Times Bestselling Memoir Carry On Warrior: The Power of Embracing Your Messy, Beautiful Life, just released in paperback, CLICK HERE!
So, I have church and I have my dumb little coming-to-Jesus-story, and that's what I'm going to share with you here and now. I hope this post is worth your time.
When I was six, I was helping my mom make a salad. She left me alone in the kitchen with a pint of cherry tomatoes and instructions to halve the tomatoes with a knife and then put them into the salad. As an adult, I kind of wonder why my mother would leave a six year old alone with a sharp knife, but then I remember- every tomato I tried to slice would just end up smooshed under the weight of what must have been a very dull knife. It's little seeds would puke out through it's skin, and I'd end up throwing a raggy, saggy mashed up tomato into the lettuce. Not at all the culinary vision my six year old self had for the salad.
So while I was making this salad, I was talking to God in my head. I don't remember what I was saying. If I was anything like my own daughter, it was probably just a lot of "why" questions. The Holy Spirit could've been very annoyed with me, but they do say that God's love is long suffering so I'm sure he was used to it.
Anyway, around this time in my life someone had been talking to me about asking Jesus into my heart. I didn't know what that meant except for the fact that I was told it would guarantee me entry into Heaven. Since being a good girl was so important to me (and because what 6 year old girl wouldn't want to ensure a postmortem pair of beautiful white wings and a cool gold halo?), I decided to pop the question to Jesus. But the thing is, I didn't just ask him into my heart. I told him he could come into my heart if he was real. Even back then I was a suspicious little thing. I told him if he was real, then he'd help me cut the next tomato perfectly, and if that happened, I would let him into my heart.
Well, you can guess what happened. The knife slid right through the very next tomato like it was butter. It stopped me right in my tracks. I stared for a second at the perfect half sphere's laying there on top of the bed of lettuce thinking, "Whoa!". Then I said a prayer, asked Jesus into my heart, and finished making the salad.
See? Silliest story ever. But there's a reason I'm sharing it with you. Jesus and I did not have a happily ever after. There have been many times since then, and many times even now, when I question the existence of God. Adolescence was hard and uncomfortable. I talked to God a lot, but I didn't feel like he was listening. Moving out of my home town and waitressing in a resort area started out very lonely. I stopped thinking about God and focused on fun and friends. I completely lost my head after breaking up with my first love and had to escape to college. And in college, I learned of a lot of ideas and philosophies that had me all but convinced that God was as real as Santa Claus. Even today, when I have everything I've ever wanted- a wonderful husband, beautiful children, a home- I sometimes doubt God. But every time, at every doubtful point in my life since I was six years old, I think about that knife sliding through that tomato perfectly and I believe again.
I can't tell you how grateful I feel for my dumb little tomato story. There's this great quote by Albert Einstein that says "There are only two ways to live... one is as though nothing is a miracle... the other is as if everything is." If not for my little tomato, I would've slipped into a non-believing world, where there's a scientific answer for everything, where black is black, and white is white. But because of a dull knife and my 6 year old skepticism, I can believe in a world that has divine order in chaos, where anything and everything can be wondrous and miraculous- even if it is just a dumb little cherry tomato.