The following screenshots are from the movie “Rio.” While watching it at home, this little incident of “flaming chicken hearts” sparked a science question from my little girl.
“Mom, why did Linda’s eyeglasses turn black when the food caught fire?”
You’d think that with my University education, I’d have easily answered such a basic science question, but, no. I couldn’t. I had no idea. That piece of knowledge probably went away along with many other things in my memory when I have birth via cesarian section twice and had to have anesthesia (it’s good to have such a convenient excuse for my memory lapses). However, I did not admit my lack of knowledge to my kid. I simply replied matter-of-factly, “Go ask Daddy!”
Good thing daddy’s home and as always, he had the answer.
Dad proceeded to explain the difference between burning clean and dirty fuels complete with a demonstration (Thank You Lord for a smart husband!).
We learned that certain items (dirty fuels) produce soot when they burn because they have contaminants other than the main fuel and the unburned carbon produces black soot. The hot soot makes the flame yellow.
In candles, for example, the “purer” the wax (fewer contaminates such as coloring and perfume) the cleaner the burn (less soot is produced).]
In clean fuels, such as the LPG we use for cooking, the flame is blue and all of the fuel is being burned and thus, there is no residue. This makes it an efficient fuel source.
As we learned (thankful that I too am learning) about all this fascinating science facts, Matthew 5:16 came to my mind:
“In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”
As Christians, we are expected to burn brightly for the Lord, with our good deeds as the flame that allows other people to see how God’s light shines through us.
Like fuels, there are those good deeds that produce a “yellow flame” and there are those that give out a “blue flame.”
When we do good deeds with contaminated hearts, either with a false motive of self-righteousness or wanting to be praised by men, or maybe with the expectation of a favor in return, the light we emit is “yellow” and does not lead others to praise God.
It is when we do good deeds out of pure hearts because Jesus abides in us that we are able to produce a “blue flame.” These are acts of generosity, kindness and mercy that lead others to see God’s love, manifest His light, and give all glory to Him alone.
We are not expected to judge other’s works but instead to ask God to always guard our hearts so that we may do His will at all times. For in the end it is God who will test each person’s work through fire and its quality will be revealed.
“10By the grace God has given me, I laid a foundation as a wise builder, and someone else is building on it. But each one should build with care. 11For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,13their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.” – 1 Corinthians 3:10-15
Almighty Father, I hope and pray that all the work of my hands and those of my loved ones will always be guided by the Holy Spirit. May our good deeds burn brightly for You Our Lord, fueled only by the pure heart of Jesus within us. May we never appear to be the “heroes” and instead, hide us Lord in Your shadow, so that people will see only You and know that “Salvation comes from the Lord!” And when my family serves the Lord, people will not proclaim we are good, but that “GOD IS GOOD!” Help us to always SHINE FOR JESUS! This we pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.