Last night we made pizza and then I unmade pizza. My wife was up finishing a bath, and I was patrolling the oven. I had put the laundry away and was feeling pretty good about my dutiful husbandry.
I checked the pizza, and that crust was just browning right up, the cheese melting wondrously evenly, the pineapple topping sizzling and mingling with its meaty counterpart: perfection!
The pizza was on a foil pan of sorts, and one I figured would be rigid enough to support the family-sized pie. I figured wrong. The pizza was half out of the oven and half on the rack—cuisine purgatory—when it started buckling in the middle: the middle of the pan was giving in, and trying its hardest to give up altogether. Our dinner was caving in on itself. It was past 7 PM and we had both commented on how ravenous we were, and here I was watching our dinner attempt to fold in on itself, a Hawaiian black hole! —what could be worse?!
I’ll tell you what could be worse, what could be worse is dropping the pizza entirely. Deftly, I grabbed a pot holder with my free hand and attempted to get it under the buckling pan’s center. This was probably a good idea, but I didn’t account for my arm making contact with the tin-foil pan. Burned, I yelled and angrily (and illogically) threw the potholder.
“HELP! I NEED HELP! HELP!” I called out to the responsible adult of my marriage. My wife ran downstairs.
“I CAN’T HELP!” she yelled, and stood there not helping to prove her statement true. The pizza was now moving more into the shape of a taco with each passing second, and there I was, holding one edge with my oven mitt, while the other slid further and further off the oven rack.
“WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU CAN’T HELP!? I’M LOSING IT!” At this moment, I forgot that we were dealing with a pizza and felt more like I was white-knuckling a blimp that was plunging closer and quicker toward the unforgiving earth.
“I’M BRUSHING MY HAIR!”
My wife couldn’t help because she was brushing her hair. Just another marriage moment to confirm what I already know to be true: I don’t understand women.
And then, burnt-armed and sweaty-browed, I surrendered. I let go of the pan. Pizza and foil pan dropped a foot and a half to the door of the oven, an utter mess.
We got another pan out and salvaged what we could, piecing the thing together like a very messy, delicious-smelling puzzle. But the pizza was ruined, the night confused, and I was a bit shell-shocked. Looking for the silver-lining, I noted my wife’s golden hair, and was relieved that at least it was meticulously brushed.
The pizza situation stressed me out. Not much does, but this did. I had been stuck in a moment of hopelessness, one hand burned and the other stuck holding onto a thing that was utterly beyond my control. And then I reached a point when I just sort of gave up on the whole thing, let go, and stepped away: it had just become too much for me.
I read a verse yesterday—pizza day—that says: “Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken” (Psalm 55:22). Unlike me, God is not surprised by mess. He is not taken aback. He doesn’t quit, no matter how messy I am or how destructive I get. And knowing the sturdiness of God should remind me that I am His and He will not allow me to be shaken. I am made sturdy in Him, mess and all.
We ate our pizza soup quietly. And really, it tasted pretty good. It had been through a lot, more than many pizzas, and yet, it was tasty all the same. It had been tried and tested, yet came out of it all true. In Christ, the same can hold true for me—in Him, I’ll come through, mess and all, and be made what I am supposed to be. I was made, life will unmake me in some ways, but He will make me new.