Open. Close. Open. Close. I turned to see our son Nate opening and closing the refrigerator door with a puzzled look on his face. He was crouched down in a squat position only possible for toddlers and professional baseball catchers with iron quads. “What are you doing?” I asked. When you have a three year old, this is almost a rhetorical question; generally you don’t really want to know the answer. You brace yourself for comments such as, “I wanted to know what would happen if I took all of the stuffing out of the couch.”
“I want to see the light go out,” he responded. Open. Close. Open. Close.
“You can’t see it go out,” I explained. “But trust me, when you close the door, the light goes out.”
“Why?” Open. Close. Open. Close. He tried to trick the light by varying the speed.
“Well, if no one is looking in the refrigerator, then there is no need to have the light on.”
That’s when I realized that the fridge must have been invented by a parent. A parent who was tired of children forgetting to turn off the lights when they left the room. I’ll fix this; I’ll invent something that automatically turns the light off when they leave. And thus, the invention of the fridge. Also, motion sensor lights, but that’s another story.
The refrigerator can be either friend or foe, depending on the circumstances. On the one hand, I am extremely thankful that I do not have to cure my meats and store them in the cellar for the winter, à la Little House on the Prairie. But the deeper the fridge, the more trouble you have getting to something on the back of the shelf without taking a trek through the frozen tundra and rearranging everything else in the front. That is why items in the back of the fridge tend to be forgotten until they grow more fur than a newborn kitten. If I could design my own refrigerator, I would make it shallow and wide, perhaps expanding the perimeter of the kitchen. Oddly, Kenmore denied my job application.
The one thing done right with the fridge design is the light. How pleasant to have something so helpful for a change. It’s like having your own personal mini butler waiting in the back of the refrigerator, ready to assist you with your search. Then when you’re done, he thoughtfully turns off the light. But my Nate thought this was a cruel idea. How can you just trust that the light goes off without actually seeing it?
God asks us to trust Him in the same way. Even though we do not see Him, He exists. It is challenging for humans to understand the concept of something existing without our influence, so we test Him a lot. Open. Close. Open. Close. Still can’t see Him, but I know He’s there. He’s like that light in the back of the fridge. Always there to assist us, and most of the time completely taken for granted. We crouch down and twist around, trying to figure it out, but in the end, it’s just a matter of faith.
I can’t help myself now. Every time I open and close that refrigerator door, I think of Nate and his struggle to believe in what he can’t see. For once in my life, I actually notice something in the fridge besides meats, cheeses, and moldy things I can no longer identify. I see a Light. And when I close the door, He winks at me. I never thought I’d say it, but I see my faith in the back of the fridge.