Posted by: pmarkrobb | July 24, 2014

don’t miss the bubbles (revisited)

As Mike mentioned last week, we are celebrating an anniversary at Journey onWord.  An amazing five year journey, which only God could have authored.  I cannot thank Mike and Genel enough for their vision and invitation to join them five years ago.  Mike has been beyond gracious in gifting me complete freedom in contributing, and I have been blessed beyond measure to be a part of what God is doing in this little corner of the world wide web.  I also owe a great debt of gratitude to my Uncle Tom.  One that I could never repay.  It was his initiative and enthusiasm that opened the opportunity for me, and he was an instrument of God in the “chance” (never with God) introduction to Mike and Genel in the Akron-Canton airport.  And last in mention, but first in my heart and life, I am eternally grateful to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for creating me to do this and answering a fervent heart prayer, filled up and overflowing.

This is “my week” in our four-week anniversary celebration.  I was given the opportunity to write one original post and also pick out a post from “back in the day” to re-post.  I love all things vintage, so my intent was to select something from early in our first year.  My search led me to a story that I shared with Mike, which was the subject of our 20th post back in October of 2009.  I was just about to hit copy/paste when another title on the search list caught my eye.  Its date (November 2013) should have disqualified it, but I remembered the post immediately from its title, and the story I wrote on that day resonates so perfectly with where my journey finds me on this specific day.  I would love for you to join me in reading post #459 … “don’t miss the bubbles” as published on November 7th, 2013.

Grace and Peace,
p. mark

::  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. This reminded me of our winter conversation around some of the “happenings of Luke chapter 2…….. “all who heard it were amazed”…….. “Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart”…….. “the child’s father and mother marveled at what was said about Him”. To engage amazement! To treasure up and ponder! To marvel! Yes, our God still is …… still does…… and still invites us to enjoy Him as He enjoys Himself! 🙂 “They were all filled with awe ……. and praised God.” (Luke 7:16)

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