I watched in dismay as one of my pretty blue mugs fell from the bench and shattered into uselessness on the hard tiles below.
Hubby broke one of his favourite cups in a similar fashion.
One of the kids knocked a parcel of delicate glass candle holders onto the floor. You know- the ones I was just about to wrap for my secret prayer friend at Church. When the shops are closed and I need to have it ready for first thing in the morning.
The theme has continued…
Stuff keeps breaking, like the light bulbs I never saw sitting on the bench. Until they no longer were. Becoming quite useless after a split second trip to the floor.
Or the car yesterday. Not its first ride home these past few months on the back of a tow truck.
The word seems to be shouting at me.
I feel it inside myself too.
The longing to connect with a certain young man who moved in with us last year. The realising just how hard that is going to be.
The need to help another one understand that we really are just trying to help. Please don’t think of us so, dear child.
The messes and lists that go with them. Aware of my limitations.
The tiredness we feel as the year marches on. The exhaustion that sets in, at times making relationship at home strained and awkward.
My seeming inability to relate to those in the world around me too.
I remember reading about a broken window once (or twice – I loved this book)
“Most significant, perhaps, is my twelve-paned bedroom window installed in the front wall when remodelling the room from a garage. The lower left-hand pane was broken when my ex-husband was moving a large mirror shortly before he left our home. The mirror shattered. As for the broken pane, I never had it replaced, because after our divorce I never had an extra fifty bucks. Yet I’ve thought a lot about that smashed windowpane with its spiderweb appearance. It became a symbol of our broken home, and I was forced to come to terms with its cold, sharp edges and tacky appearance. Perhaps I never had the window fixed because somehow I knew things need time to be what they are.”
What we are.
Maybe I just need time to appreciate where things are at. Not because they are beautiful right now. Rather what they have potential to be.
I have to the see the blemishes as something more.
When we go treasure hunting for vintage finds, it is not the perfect pieces we are drawn to. The stuff that comes home is often tattered, well worn, and tells a story in the scrapes and bruises it bears. Sometimes we leave it as it is. Other times we administer a dose of TLC. But we are careful to never strip a piece completely of evidence of the life it has lived.
Because this is where the beauty is found. A beauty that is not so much about perfection as realness. A beauty that draws us in and fascinates us with its character. Beauty that stands tall despite (or because of?) hardships and difficulty.
Beauty that says, “Me too.”
Two thousand years ago, a wee babe entered into this world. The conditions were hardly what we might consider ideal. Just a dusty stable full of animals and a makeshift manger cradle. Why? Because he was willing to enter into our mess. Our brokenness. He was willing to take it all on. To get to know us. On our level. To be real. To be able to say, “Me too.”
To love us where we are and invite us to so much more…
All that shattered glass cannot be mended. It doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things anyway. The brokenness inside us does. I’ve puzzled over this recurrent theme trying to make sense of it all. I’m not quite there yet. I’m handing my pieces to the master craftsman though. Trusting him to work it all out. In his way. In his time. Hoping that one day the beauty will be revealed.
“Windows may not be fixed right away, but that does not mean they will never be mended. Everything may not become clear in a twinkling. It takes courage to begin to think in different ways about anything that gives you pain. It takes courage to see the possibilities in disability or disease or divorce. But that doesn’t mean that you and I can’t live with style, dignity, and intention.” – Marlee LeDai