Kenny and the Watermelon Seed

(The Power of a Negative Secret)
Scripture: Numbers 32:23
(c) Copyright 2004 Rev. Bill Versteeg

23 "But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the LORD; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.

Sunday dinner was over. The soup was as usual - meatball soup, hearty, full of vegetables and flavour, topped off with a little Maggi spicing. The whole family enjoyed Dad's Sunday pot of soup. It was mom's day off, after all, every one needs a day of rest, including moms. The meal was finished with watermelon. The three boys, James, Russel and Kenny slurped the delicious juices as they quickly ate their portions. Sandra, however, the youngest, their sister didn't feel very well. Maybe it was the flu. She ate just a little soup, and decided to save her watermelon for later. Instead she went to bed for the afternoon. Mom gave very clear instructions that no one was to touch the watermelon, it belonged to Sandra!

After dinner, it wasn't long before the Nintendo game was hard at work, making screeching and bumping sounds as tiny motors revved and tiny cars with Mario and Luigi raced around corners. Repetitious music echoed throughout the basement as images of game balloons popped and the competition was eliminated. Regretfully, Kenny, the youngest of the three brothers was that competition, and having lost again and again, he also lost his appetite for the game. He decided to go upstairs, away from the noise and away from his brothers who were always winning.

The kitchen was quiet.  Mom and dad were doing their usual Sunday afternoon activity, going for a snooze. Kenny could hear the snoring even through the closed bedroom door. Kenny was bored with nothing to do. To fill his time, he peaked in the fridge to see if there was something he could snack on.  And there is was, Sandra's watermelon, juicy, sweet, delicious. It seemed to almost call out to him, "Come and eat me!"

Kenny's first reaction was "No way! I'll get caught and Dad and Mom will be so angry!" But even as he thought about what might happen if he did get caught, his mind was thinking up ways of not getting caught. He could sneak the water melon out to the tree fort and eat it there.

His plan seemed perfect. No one would catch him. He slipped on his shoes, grabbed the piece of water melon out of the fridge and snuck out the back door. Quietly he walked across the back lawn into the garden, up the stairs of their tree house being careful not to ring the bell, into the secret place he liked to go to get away from it all, especially his brothers.

There he unwrapped Sandra's water melon, he looked at it, he smelled it, he bit into it - boy was it tasty. Every bite was delicious. This tasted even better than it did at lunch time. And it was even more fun. From way up high, he would see how far he could spit the water melon seeds, almost like a spitting contest. He would put a seed in his mouth and take in a deep breath, and then he would blow the seed out with all his might. From up here, he might even beat the world record for watermelon seed spitting. His brother had gotten a Guinness Book of World Records from the library, and there they had read that the sport of water melon seed spitting was called "Hawking" and the person who managed to spit a seed the furthest could win $1000. The world record was held by a man named Lee Wheells who had spit a seed 68 feet 9 ½ inches.

Kenny was deep into Hawking, blowing each seed as far as he could. One after another, seeds flew into the garden, among the raspberry bushes, between the beans, even out to the potato plants.

It wasn't long before Kenny had eaten the whole piece of watermelon. All that was left was the green husk. Kenny realized that he had to get rid of the evidence so he wiped his cheeks dry with his sleeve, climbed down out of the tree house and quietly carried the leftovers to the garbage where he hid the husk in an already full garbage bag. The evidence gone, his cheeks tired from Hawking, Kenny quietly snuck back into the house and rejoined his competitive brothers in Super Mario racing.  Sure enough, he lost again.

Sandra did however, eventually, wake up. And when she woke up, having had only a little soup, she was hungry. And so she went right to the fridge to get her piece of watermelon only to discover it was not there any more!

"Who took my watermelon?"

"Mom, somebody took my watermelon!" she yelled.

Well, mom and dad were still sleeping and Sandra's yelling woke them up on the wrong side of the bed!

Mom and Dad both got up grumbling. Mom looked in the fridge.  Sure enough, the watermelon was not there. Quickly the three boys were brought to the kitchen and lined up in front of the fridge.

"Who of you ate Sandra's watermelon?" Dad asked.

There was no answer.

"Which one of you ate Sandra's watermelon? Speak up or there will be big consequences!"  Mom added.

Together all three boys said "Not me. I didn't do anything." When Kenny was asked again, he said "I didn't do anything! We were all playing Nintendo!" When he said it, he looked at the ground.  He couldn't look in his mom's eyes. Parents repeatedly asked. Sons insisted on their innocence. There was no way to get the truth from them. Finally it was decided. Until someone came up with the truth, all the boys would not have any watermelon for the next number of weeks.

The punishment decided, Mom cut Sandra another piece and the issue was dropped. Kenny thought to himself: "Pheww, I got away with it." After all, he had hidden the evidence well.

The week went by, there was no watermelon for the boys. They were just finishing up their year of school and their days were filled with work, and no watermelon snacks when they came home from all that work. The punishment certainly seemed harsh. After all there was lots of watermelon to be had, but only Mom, Dad and Sandra got it.

As the week went by, Kenny got grouchy. He knew that his brothers were paying for what he did. And he felt like he didn't like being around mom and dad because it felt like they could look right inside of him - at what he had done.

Two weeks passed. The weather at times had been stormy, something like what Kenny had felt in his heart. It was Saturday, only one week of school was left. Dad was working out in the garden, whistling as he worked. Kenny was playing in his tree fort. It wasn't long though before the whistling stopped and Dad said to Kenny.

"You like your fort don't you son...?"

"Ya, it's a fun place. I can see far and I can be by myself." Kenny answered.

"It's kind of a place you can get away from your brothers isn't it." Dad prodded.

"Ya, I need to get away from them when they bug me."

"Like when you were playing with Nintendo a few weeks ago?" Dad added.

"Ya, I really needed to get away from them, they would never ever let me win! They are so mean!"

Dad stopped his hoeing, he looked up at the tree fort, Kenny peering over the railing, watched his dad.

"Kenny, I have a question that maybe you can help me with. All over the garden there are little plants growing and you know what, they look strangely like watermelon plants! Do you know how these might have gotten here?

"Oh, I was hawking! I was seeing how far I could get."  Kenny boasted.

"Boy you must have spit 30 feet!  That's pretty good!"

Kenny went down to look at the tiny plant that was growing among the potatoes. That sure was a good spit.

"And Kenny, that plant looks like its just under two weeks old." Dad added quietly.

Suddenly Kenny saw what dad was saying. Two weeks ago he was hawking , but he was hawking Sandra's seeds and the seeds he had sown were now little plants. He had been caught! Dad knew it, Kenny knew it. Kenny's mind raced.  What excuse could he use now?  

Finally Kenny did what seemed so hard to do, he admitted to to stealing Sandra's watermelon.  It felt so good to get his secret out. It had felt like a dark cloud in his mind for two weeks. Now that dad knew, it just felt a lot better.

There are consequences for lying. Now Kenny's brothers could have water melon too. Kenny would have to go without for another two weeks. But Kenny learned one hard lesson through all of this. Some secrets should not be kept. Secrets about bad things should not be kept, secrets about wrong things should be talked about, get them into the open so they don't have the power to burden you and make you grumpy.  

Kenny learned, the person who hides his sin will not prosper.

(NIV) Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright (C) 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Bible Publishers.

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