There’s more where that came from!
The older ladies in the kitchen had it in for Wilma from the start. She was a cook’s helper, meaning she did whatever they needed done. From fetching pots and ladles, to carting the prepared dishes out to the serving line, the tiny lady with the energy of a squirrel storing nuts for the winter did it all. Mostly, she did it without complaint.
From my nearby station, where I washed the pots and pans, I listened to the abuse she took. Day after day, the cooks, who were the royalty in that little domain, made snide remarks—about her size, or hair color, or mental abilities. And, day after day, the hard-working lady went about her duties patiently and quietly. I knew she couldn’t be happy, but didn’t think it was my place to interfere in kitchen politics, especially given that I was a newcomer there.
Then one morning, the cooks stepped over the line. One of them made a rude comment about Wilma’s daughter. It was common knowledge that the girl had made some poor decisions, the result being an unwanted pregnancy at an early age. The other cook started to comment as well, but Wilma ended her long silence in that instant.
It seemed the weeks and months of abuse she had endured were like gunpowder packed inside her, and the comments about her daughter, the match to the fuse. She exploded in fury.
I can’t repeat her words here.
Within seconds, the kitchen supervisor was out of her office, inviting (with no option of refusal) the ladies into her inner sanctum. We heard voices raised again and again from the other side of the door, but half an hour later, we were hard at work (or pretended to be) when the three returned to their stations.
For the remainder of that morning, if the cooks spoke it was only to ask for a necessary ingredient to go into a dish, or for a container to transfer the food into on its way to the serving line. Wilma didn’t utter another word, but scurried about her duties as if nothing had happened.
When it was time for our dinner break, the other kitchen employees gathered around her on the way to the dining room.
“Wow! Wilma, I’ve never seen you so worked up!”
“I hope everything is going to be all right. They’re not going to fire you, are they?”
“Boy! You told them!”
Wilma just smiled wryly, her lips pressed tightly together. It seemed that, perhaps, she had been sworn to secrecy about what had transpired in the office. When she spoke, it was just to mutter a few words. It was all she ever had to say about the event.
Six words. “There’s more where that came from!”
The cooks never mentioned her daughter again, nor did they dare to abuse the slight lady as she went about her duties. Apparently, they had had more than what they wanted from the little lady’s store.
More where that came from.
Many years down the road of life from that detonation, I find myself wondering if there is more for us to learn from Wilma’s words than the lesson those cooks acquired the hard way.
Odd. I’ve never heard the words used in a positive sense. I’ve only heard them when people have either told others off, or even attacked them physically. The words are usually said as a warning to beware of lighting the fuse within a second time.
But, one has to wonder—why would we only have more anger and vitriol stored up? Why would we only promise more of the same when we physically overcame a rival?
Are we so full of ugly things? How did we get that way?
Surely, there should be more good things where that came from? Are there more compliments? More hugs? More slaps on the back? More blessings?
I’m just full of questions tonight aren’t I?
I suppose one could say the questions are mostly rhetorical, meant to inspire soul-searching, rather than requiring answers.
You see, I already know the answers. Oh, I know. Perhaps you do too. You do, don’t you?
From deep down inside, we know what we have stored up. From the darkest places in our souls, we have intimate knowledge of the nasty stuff—the powder ready to explode, with a short fuse.
It is there. We have carefully stockpiled it over a lifetime of interaction with folks.
We’ve tamped it down carefully, in preparation for the time when it will be needed. Packed it tightly in the wadding of our excuses and justifications. The explosion will come.
It will come. Unless we do what it takes to render it harmless.
Do you know how to keep a firecracker from exploding?
We might try removing the fuse and leaving it where it’s stored. It’s not completely futile to do that. Without a fuse, there is nothing to touch the match to.
Still. The device can explode when exposed to the right amount of heat, or pressure. It has exactly the same explosive power it always had. Exactly the same.
But, there is a simple way to disarm that little explosive device. So simple. Get it out into the open air. Tear open the paper tube. Let the breeze blow the powder away. Exposed to the light and air, the destructive components of the firecracker become harmless.
I’m thinking it’s time—for me, at least—to empty the arsenal.
But, I have lived my life as a follower of the Christ! He began a good work in me decades ago. He has continued to do that work. (Philippians 1:6)
What about that?
What about the good things down there?
The Apostle—you know, the one who wrote all the time—suggests that we need to be tireless in doing good if we want any result worth working toward. Tireless.
The good is already down there. All we have to do is share it. And then do it again. And again.
Perhaps it’s time to make the words a promise. Not a threat.
There’s more where that came from!
A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.
(Luke 6:45 ~ NIV)
To be doing good deeds is man’s most glorious task.
(Sophocles ~ Ancient Greek playwright ~ 496 BC-406 BC)
© Paul Phillips. He’s Taken Leave. 2015. All Rights Reserved.