Last week, my oldest dropped one of our drinking glasses on the floor. It slipped from his fingers like a ghost. He’s at the age when independence and dependence keep showing up for a game of tug-of-war, and it’s keeping all of us on our toes. I watched his eyes pop like a puffer fish as the blue Ball jar transformed into a million shards and flew across every inch of our slate tile kitchen floor.
After immediately quarantining myself in the kitchen, I shooed my kids out and away from it. Then I stood there, looking at all of the fragments and splinters. I wasn’t sad over losing the drinking glass; I was overwhelmed by what it had become.
Sometimes life feels like standing in a room surrounded by sharp splinters and rough-edged remnants of what was.
No matter how hard we try, we can’t force something beautiful from the broken we’re surrounded by. Sometimes it’s impossible to see past the mess, the silence, the loss, or the shock of our unmet expectations.
When you are surrounded by shards of glass, the only way forward is to risk a limp.
The first thing I did after standing and staring like some sort of monument of a mother in the middle of a mess, was to whisper the word help. Even a paltry prayer for help can wake my hope that God is ever-present and unsurprised by the wreckage in my everyday. The next thing I did was bend down low to see the tiny pieces up close and start cleaning up, slow and steady.
There are a lot of people I love who are hurting right now. It seems like everywhere I look, I see those same shards of glass. It’s hard to know where to step or how to move forward. None of the situations and circumstances are easy. If I’m honest, I’ve doubted God’s care and closeness. I’ve wondered why He hasn’t moved the way I think He should move. I’ve wished He would just fix things and let me check the mending. I’ve wondered how I can keep offering the world around me the message of living water when all of the glasses I’d naturally carry it in keep breaking.
When I’m overwhelmed, I’m tempted to believe in scarcity and turn towards self-preservation. I want to clutch and hoard the little I think I can still keep intact, but God keeps nudging me to remember that He is the God who will lovingly receive what we offer in faith and surrender and multiply it for good and glory.
He’s been reminding me that I come from a long spiritual line of those who, like me, question Him and struggle. Of those who were told to cast out their nets again the next morning when the night left their hope empty and their hearts weary. Of those who offered the little bread and fish they had and watched Him feed and fill a multitude. Of those who poured extravagant love at His feet, and those who at first refused to let Him clean their feet. Of those who spent their life preparing the way for a King they were devoted to, only to come to an end they didn’t expect and a question they never thought they would ask: Are you the one we’ve been waiting for, or should we be waiting for someone else?
Pick up one jagged piece and then another, He whispered back to me in the kitchen that day.
Despite my orders to stay away from the room, one of my sons offered help by bringing a bag for the glass and asking if he could get the vacuum. Another son brought Band-Aids when he heard me yelp in pain after stepping on glass. And our littlest came closer with a box of tissues in hand just like others have done for her when she’s hurt or sad.
Moments like these give us space to see our needs and care for each other. They train us to give and receive love. Grace always weaves its way in and through the wreckage and the wounds.
Sometimes all we can do is stare at the mess long and hard, ask for help, and wait to see new mercies winnow through and make wonder again. When we bend down low, go slow, and look for one piece to pick up, we’ll find that one tiny piece and one more tiny piece become one small space by one small space made safe again. And together, we can choose to remember: we come from a long-lasting legacy. We come from a people who move forward, one shard after another, bringing whatever we have: doubts, questions, tissue boxes, broken hearts, new limps, Band-Aids, and love. And we move forward like we believe that the broken remnants laid down at Jesus’ feet can become a resurrection.
Grace always weaves its way in and through the wreckage and the wounds. -@tashajunb: Click To Tweet Leave a Comment
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Beautiful words! I think we are all broken vessels being held together with the glue of grace. I know there have been times that my life felt like your Ball jar – splayed out in splinters and shards of glass all over the place. I’m so thankful for a merciful God who, one piece at a time, picks up my mess of a life and glues it back together with His grace. There are still cracks and holes in my vessel, but that’s where the light of Christ is able to radiate outward and bring glory to God in the midst of the mess.
It’s true, we really are. And the light shines beautifully through those cracks. Thank you, dear Bev.
Michele Morin says
As much as I fear and avoid the sharp edges of brokenness, at the same time, I never cease to be amazed at the seamless repairs the power of God brings to my life and to the lives of those I love. When the crash and shatter brings the broom and the band aids, God’s great love is so VERY visible.
Thank you, Tasha, for grace words.
Amen to that. Love makes itself visible in the most ordinary things. I’m so glad you are here, Michele.
Dawn Ferguson-Little says
So well spoken. You stop and think of each sharp pain of glass that was broken that day. You know you can’t count them all. As being thoes sharp pieces Jesus took as pain on the cross for us all because he loved us so much. Thoes pieces would have such pain. Such love. You think as you cleaned the glass of the floor what pain our Lord Jesus went through on the cross for the world. You as Mum step on piece of glass would have been nothing to pain Jesus went through on the cross for us. You told tried to project your kids by cleaning the glass up yourself. So many times in life we try to help people who are in touble. Even our own family. They at the time might not want our help. We end up like a jigsaw that the one piece we cannot find the right place for it to go into. We the our the right words to says. Even that piece could be from another problem in our lives. We have go to Jesus see what he says to do. In prayer. Like a saying I have that a friend bought me. It is, Every obstacle to faith or douth or problem that you face that you can’t fix. Go to Jesus in prayer and Hang it on The Cross. Jesus will tell you what to do next to help you fit the pieces back together. Sometimes you will have to wait for the answer. But Hang it on the Cross. Don’t cut yourself up over it that you could not help that person or family member over it. You see in Gods timming it will be ok. We jus have to trust him. Love Dawn Ferguson-Little
I like how you thought of Jesus and the pain he experienced. He is so very familiar with suffering and understands us deeply. What good news that is.
Jillian Boyington says
Beautiful words, Tasha! You soothed a place in my heart I didn’t even know was chapped this morning. ❤️
Oh, I am so grateful to hear that. Thanks so much, Jillian!
Tasha: Thank you for this message! I needed to hear this today. Some days I really lean in to my faith during this period of struggle and difficulty. Other days I want to give up and really question if God is paying attention to our struggle. Thank you for these words. Please pray for me and my family – we are going through a very challenging and difficult time that may not ever really get better. And please keep putting out these inspiring words! They really do help!
Heather, thank you for letting me know. Oh feel you. And I will pray for you and your family.
Thank you Tasha!
Maria perez says
Heather, i to am going through a difficult time with my family that may never get better. My life verse is 1peter5:7 it helps me to remember god is in control. My heart is heavy, i pray , nothing changes. He remains silent. But we must keep praying for his will, and our acceptance of his will.
Beautiful. So perfect for my story. Thank you.
Thanks so much, Ashley!
Wow, one part of this article totally brought to my attention that I don’t have to keep putting pressure on myself to think I need to bring “a lot,” because God can take the little that I have to make a lot with that. It’s so amazing that I never even thought about the story with the few fish and loaves that was brought to Jesus, and how that could be translated into our lives and how sometimes we feel like we don’t “do” enough or feel what we do isn’t “big” enough—but it doesn’t matter & we don’t need to sweat that, as God can take our little and make a lot. I’ll still try to bring a lot, but it’s nice to know that we can rest and the fact that even in our little he can bring a lot. Awesome thing to think about today!❤️
Yes, it’s so easy for me to think the same way. Thank you for letting me know, Sandilee!
Patricia Raybon says
Beautiful, Tasha! I love your reminder to learn to give AND receive love. Thank you for blessing this community so beautifully today! Much love, Patricia
Patricia, thank you so much! I’m so grateful for you.
Melissa Ens says
I need this today, Tasha. Someone I love dearly is struggling deeply right now and it takes faith and perseverance to trust in God’s goodness when it looks so unlike what we are praying and begging and waiting for. But yes – we are not the first to wonder why and to feel confused. It’s comforting somehow. Thanks.
Melissa, I’m glad to know it encouraged you in some way. I’m sorry for the pain you are witnessing or helping to carry. You are not alone- we come from a long line of those who have been right where we are.
Thank you for such a revealing picture of how life can shatter us and grace heals . How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!!❤️
Thank you so much, Catherine!
Beth Williams says
Beautiful imagery. We are all broken vessels that need the grace of God to fix & fill us up again. We tend to pray & shut ourselves down in times of hurt & pain. Not wanting anyone around except God & a quick resolution to the problem. Trouble is His timing is not ours. His solution isn’t always the same either. In times of hurt we need to learn to give & receive love from others. Sometimes God sends people our way to be His hands, feet & to love us through the wreckage. I remember a time when I felt frazzled, broken down & needed immediate help. I wanted an answer to my problem right now. God did answer my pleas-only in His timing a month later. It was a better solution than I could have imagined. During that time I let people love on me. That alone helped get me through the wreckage.
Thanks, Beth. You are so right. It’s hard to be patient in times like these. I’m glad you let your community love on you during that difficult time you mentioned-even if it wasn’t what you wanted at first. We are loved indeed.
Becky Keife says
All the way through I just kept nodding my head us. Yes to the mess. Yes to the paralyzed overwhelm. Yes to whispering help and believing He cares and hears and will still yet meet us here. Thank you, friend. xx
I’m glad it resonated with you. With you, friend.
When I’m overwhelmed, I’m tempted to believe in scarcity and turn towards self-preservation. ” but then ahhh…Pick up one jagged piece and then another.
I so needed to hear that early this morning as I awoke struggling to figure out how to fix other’s problems that I do not own and i feel overwhelmed. Thank you so much for helping me to put things back into perspective and let go and let God. Such a beautifully written visual story!
Thank you so much, Rita. I’m glad to know it encouraged you. We aren’t alone.
Teri Coleman says
Our family is in that very situation right now! Surrounded by broken glass and just not knowing where to start or which way to turn! We’re having to trust God to make a miracle of our situation and to offer comfort in our pain. We need help, a bag and a plaster (band aid, I’m English) and a box of tissues! Your children sound so lovely, thoughtful and caring! Well done you for raising children like that! I’m sure they will become thoughtful, caring adults under your nurturing!
Teri, I’m so sorry you are facing a difficult challenge right now. I am trusting with you. Thanks so much for your encouragement.
perfect timing. just woke up and grabbed my bible to read out loud psalm 91. our God is there in the shattered !
Krissy, thank you. I’m so glad it connected with you. And, that psalm means a lot to me. I love how God speaks love over us and to us.
Your statement: Sometimes life feels like standing in a room surrounded by sharp splinters and rough-edged remnants of what was; really resonated with me! My husband and I are in the process of divorcing and we are still in our house together and this statement makes so much sense to me right now! Daily, I find myself picking up shards of glass (some days harder, some days easier) but so grateful for God’s grace and light at the end of the tunnel.
Kimberly, thanks so much for letting me know it resonated with you. I’m sorry to hear about you and your husband. I pray you can see Grace winnow it’s way through.