Posted by: pmarkrobb | November 7, 2013

don’t miss the bubbles

I live in a home with no dishwasher or microwave oven; a fact that, to this day, still confounds my colleagues at work. During our occasional discussions on technological topics, it’s only a matter of time before someone discounts or disqualifies my opinion with the declarative, “Yeah, but you don’t even own a microwave. And, oh yeah, that’s right, a dishwasher either!” To which I love to respond, “But at least it only took me two years to get rid of the rotary dial phone after we bought our house!” (That’s actually true, by the way. There was something about the little finger flick when dialing and the trademark motion and noise of the dial face as it returned to its rest position.)

My wife was putting the final rinse on a few plates and bowls a few days ago.  I snuck behind her and picked up a towel to dry. As she pulled the stopper on the wash side of the sink, drained the water and rinsed the remaining bubbles, I dried the remnants and returned them to their rightful place in the cupboard. As I looked out the window and waited for her to finish wiping down the counter, I caught a rogue unwashed pan in my periphery. Rather than announcing it, I kept quiet and waited for my wife to leave the kitchen. I brought the pan over to the sink, rinsed it with some hot water and reached down below the sink for the dishwashing liquid. After squeezing a small amount onto my dish cloth, I made a motion to close the top on the bottle and place it back underneath the sink. As I did, I must have slightly squeezed the bottle, and instantly a cluster of miniature bubbles burst out of the spout.

For whatever reason, bubbles fascinate me, and in an instant I was awestruck. I stood and stared for what seemed like minutes, as the miniature bubbles rode on the invisible currents of air in the kitchen. The bubbles seemed to hover together for a minute and then began to float off in every conceivable direction. Some simply fell. Others would rise, then float horizontally, and then fall, and then rise again, changing directions at the whim of the unseen current. I knew a pan was waiting for me, but I could not take my eyes off the bubbles.

I know there is science behind the formation and behavior of bubbles. There are truths and natural laws that explain and govern them. But in that moment, I was quite literally awestruck in the presence of those simple little spheres.

I believe our “advanced,” modern world (you know, the one with dishwashers and microwaves) distracts us from moments like I had this morning. Too often the pace and the noise in our lives, tempts or causes us to focus on the “to be done” at the expense of the “to be seen.” We stand at the sink constrained by the thought of finishing that last dish and turn our backs on the opportunity to stop and watch the bubbles. And this observation is not just about slowing down so we can enjoy life more, it’s about seeing and experiencing God … knowing Him.

There is truth in the natural world, and there is Truth in scripture. But what is the purpose of those lowercase and capital “T” truths? Do they exist to explain, or are they there to amaze? Are we in this here and now to understand and steward or to love and glorify?

When was the last time you were left breathless? When was the last time you stopped dead in your tracks to stare at “miniature bubbles?” When was the last time you read your Bible and were overcome with wonder? The pan will still be there when you get around to washing it. Don’t miss the bubbles!



  1. Fun and True, with a capital “T”!

    To amaze…….to love……to glorify! I’d love to share this delight with my wife, but the preceeding paragraphs make that difficult. 🙂

    Enjoy the end to this day (and the bubbles) He has made!


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