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Stirring Up Some Strife

This week, out of the blue, my boy set his alarm and actually got himself up to go with me to my men’s bible study. I didn’t ask questions, I was just happy to have him along for the pre-dawn drive into town. We’ve been in Proverbs for a quite awhile, and of all the times to come along, he picked just about the hardest chapter in the whole book. He was confused, right along side the 3 grown men sitting next to him whose sum total of wisdom is a hundred years. So we just picked a favorite verse, and it came out to be Proverbs 30:33.

“For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife.”

We got to talking about it on the way home, churned milk, bloody noses, strife. Why did the writer compare strife to making, of all things, butter??

So I got to thinking…how can we make this idea a reality. Two choices. Twist his nose until it bleeds…probably not the best way to learn ;)…. or, make some butter.

We made butter.

Pour some heavy cream into a jar half way, a little sea-salt, screw the lid on tight, then get those kids dancing and shaking, taking turns for about 30 minutes. In the beginning, they are arguing for who gets to shake it first, who can shake it the longest, who has become an expert on the method of ‘butter-making’ (as jars go flying through the air). In these shots below they are actually shaking and writhing, vigorously flailing the jars all around. I had to crank up the shutter on the camera just to catch a ‘still’ shot of The Butter Makers…

15 minutes in, faces are flush, arms are numb, breathing is laborious….fun has morphed into, ick, work! Suddenly the idea of stirring up anger begins to sink in, and you can see little minds turning on the lightbulbs to the understanding of what causes strife and fights, through the shaking and churning, the constant state of unrest. It’s a labor, a work, hard work…certainly not a peaceful motive. You can see the cream as it gets heavier, thicker. Then you see it transform, the actual physical change as solid separates from liquid. Pouring off the buttermilk was even fun. Letting the extra residue just strain away, the stuff we just don’t need to keep, and holding onto the richness of what was there all along. The stuff that matters…

It was a great lesson, and with the fruits of their labor, there was butter! The kids got to spread to their heart’s content onto crackers, going on and on about how this was some of the best butter they’ve ever had…I mean, cmon! We MADE this. WE did this! We OWN it. 🙂

All of this wisdom, this understanding, from 1 verse! 1 verse in over 31,000. All filled with the same rich, creamy goodness, just for us… that’s a pretty awesome book He made for us, a pretty loving thing He did, a pretty cool gift to own. 🙂

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