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Mom's Ugly Kitchen

As far as Kitchens go, Mom’s kitchen was ugly. It was my fault though.

As a 7 year old boy I scrimped and saved Kraft Dinner box lids to trade in for a mail-order gift to give Mom for Mother’s Day: three beautiful art prints for Mom to hang on the wall. Would she ever be excited! I secretly collected my hoard, sent them in to Kraft, and the big day came. A large envelope with my name on it had arrived! I grabbed it, ran to my room, entered the closet with a flashlight and closed the door. My hands were shaking with anticipation to reveal what could only be art worthy of my Mom.

Out came the three prints—one had a lobster on it, another a brick of cheese, and another a bowl and cup. I was devastated—this was ugly stuff. Mr. Kraft must have noodles for brains. What was I going to do? Humiliated, embarrassed and ashamed, I hid the three prints under my dresser, to wait there for the end of the world.

Mother’s Day came and went. I made a card of course, but no gift from me. I bore my shame and resolved quietly never to eat Kraft Dinner again.

Coming home from school one day, Mom was waiting for me; she had gone looking for the envelope aware I had planned something big, and she found it under the dresser. Out came the prints and was she ever excited! She made such a fuss over them she almost convinced me they were ‘fine art’.

Those prints were soon framed and hung on the kitchen wall; there they hung for 40 years. I went along with the tall tale that they were beautiful, but I knew the truth of course. Mom had an ugly kitchen because of me. But I had a beautiful Mom.

Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV)
Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Romans 15:2 (ESV)
Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.