He offers a piggyback ride out of the mess I created. Shards of glass glisten on the tile as morning sunlight spills into our kitchen. I stand barefoot in the middle of broken glass, afraid to take a step in any direction.
It’s all my fault. In my usual hurry, I hadn’t taken time to thoroughly dry my hands. When I lifted a full quart-sized glass mug, it slipped from my grasp, shattering on the edge of my cast iron skillet Glass and water splashed across the stove and counter top. Larger pieces shattered again when they met the tile floor. Within seconds, it was over.
“Are you okay?” Honey’s voice beats him to the doorway.
“Don’t move. Let me get you out of here.”
He rescues me and cleans up the disaster. It takes almost an hour to restore our kitchen to its normal safe-to-walk-barefoot status. His voice and mannerisms remain calm. Not once does he scold or chide. His only concern is for my safety.
It is me who huffs and puffs on the inside. I am the one spewing and blaming myself for being a klutz.
This is the first of three broken-glass dramas within the span of a few days.
The next time, in a hurry to get out the door, I knock my Voss water bottle into the corner of a thick piece of glass that covers an antique sideboard in our entryway. The moment the sound of glass on glass hits my ears I know that I have cracked something. Closer inspection reveals it’s not the water bottle.
Frustrated and disappointed, I’m quick to glance at my husband’s face for condemnation. Finding none, I continue to beat myself up about it as we head for the car. Through the maze of our neighborhood, I berate myself for being so careless. He holds my hand as always, acting as if nothing has happened.
Finally it’s Friday morning. I’m making a quick breakfast so Honey can head out to a meeting when I knock a Mason jar, filled with homemade spaghetti sauce off the refrigerator’s top shelf. “NO!” I holler as it heads for the tile. Instantly our kitchen looks like a slaughterhouse.
Lord, what is going on here? A roll of paper towels later, I’m still waiting for His answer. It comes quietly as I sit alone in the house, reflecting on my husband’s responses to my bull-in-a-china-shop ways.
“Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not.” I continue reading from the open Bible on our kitchen table. “They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.” Lamentations 3:22-23 (NKJV)
I realize that I have had false expectations of God and my husband. When I repeatedly mess up, I’m waiting for someone to shout at me, blame me, or remind me of the other times I’ve failed.
In retrospect, I’m the only one doing that. I’m the one insisting, “I made this mess I need to clean it up.” I’m the one remembering how many times I’ve already failed. I’m the one pointing spaghetti-sauce-covered fingers at myself.
During a moment of quiet introspection I ask, Why must I insist on doing something to help, even after someone who loves me has gently removed me from the danger of broken glass on bare feet? Is it a way to alleviate guilt? Why am I the only one remembering how many times I’ve already failed, when 1 Corinthians 13:5 tells me “Love keeps no record of wrongs?”
When we have suffered neglect or abuse in our past, lack of trust can haunt our present. If humans have made statements like, “You’ve made your bed, now you must lie in it,” we may subconsciously begin to believe that’s what God says, too. He doesn’t.
If we stop for a moment, like the woman caught in adultery and dragged before Jesus, and allow ourselves to look up into LOVE’s face, we will hear these precious words: “Where are your accusers?”
Sometimes we make repeated mistakes. Sometimes we break glass. Sometimes we break hearts. Whatever it is that’s broken in our lives today, we have Someone who wants to rescue us from our mess, clean it up and let it go. We can continue to beat ourselves up because we’ve made poor choices in the past, or we can move forward with a redeemed and forgiven future. The choice is ours.
I choose LOVE.