My children and I found ourselves traveling through yet another morning routine…
Dressed, check. Hair brushed, teeth brushed, beds made (yes, I’m old-school), check, check, check. Four bowls of cereal poured and consumed, four glasses of juice emptied, chores ensuing, and then…
An unmistakable sound.
A reactive squeal.
A hand-crafted holiday gift by my father, shattered.
You know those moments that instantly appear and you have a split second to decide how to respond? Emotions run high? You desire to do the right thing? Thoughts of this-will-be-a-defining-moment flit by in a nano-second, and a beautiful blue-eyed 6-year-old holds her breath for your reaction? Okay, maybe not the blue-eyed part, but the intense silence nonetheless?
Yeah, I wouldn’t know about that either.
I wish I could type words of how graceful, merciful words flowed from my mouth. I wish I could tell you I wrapped my arms around said child and calmed any anxiety she might have experienced. I wish I could tell you that my body language did not exude tenseness what-so-ever. I can’t utter these words.
Oh, I forced out words of, “that’s okay, it was just an accident”. I was clenched. I didn’t give eye-contact. I was busy doing clean up work. I was processing. I was attempting to let go of the moment I could not return to. The moment just before the item was moved, tipped, and chattered. That moment when I craved a do-over. The moment when my darling girl was attempting to wipe the table fully clean. She did not skirt the little crumbs, she was desiring a full and complete effort.
And in the moment of my justifications, my heart was broken. My cherished candle was broken. Why did I expect this accident to be prevented? Was it carelessness? No. It was truly an accident. And my little girl was watching my reaction.
Why is it I react this way Lord? Why do interruptions in life sometimes undo me? Where is my priority? Jesus, can you help my heart see?
The gentle whisper enters.
My child, things will break. This you know. Focus not on the object, but the memory that it holds.
The memory… yes. Memories of my father, memories of his tender loving care. Memories I deeply desire to create for my children. Memories, people, that are more important than things.
I bent low to my sweet child. I cupped her sweet face in my hands and gazed into her deep-blue eyes, “Sweet child. You are more important to me than a candle. You noticed a few crumbs near the candle, and you needed to move it so that the whole table would be clean. I’m proud of you. I love you.”
Lord, thank you for loving all the broken parts of me. Thank you for continuing to teach me in my broken places. Lord, continue to break me, for then, I see more of you. Thank you for providing me with Gorilla glue, that’s good stuff! It’s not exactly the same, but it’s repaired. May it always remind me to see the beauty in the broken. Continue to interrupt my life, for there I grow more dependent on you.