Sticky coffee spilled onto the stone counter top and tile floor, dripping in streams down the wooden side of the counter. Coffee mug shards littered the hard floor after sliding themselves into haphazard places and corners entire rooms away. I stood perfectly still in my bare feet taking in the mess, not sure where to attack it first. Then it occurred to me which mug I was looking at, broken in pieces before me: my daughter’s confirmation gift from her grandmother.
I snapped a picture of the disaster and got busy cleaning it up. I then sent a text with the picture to my daughter, telling her how sorry I was for the accident. I followed that text with another apology, this time to my mother-in-law.
This is precisely the kind of situation that used to drive me crazy. I would mercilessly ridicule myself for my clumsiness or absent-mindedness. I would hesitate to use a “special” mug in the first place, because of the risk factor.
I’m not sure exactly when I changed, but although I’m sad I broke the mug and had to clean up the mess, I’m not beating myself up about it. Accidents happen. And I’m choosing to appreciate the joy that little mug brought every time we drank some warm goodness from it. It was beautiful and had a verse from Psalms written on the side. It represented a very special moment in my daughter’s faith life and the loving, prayerful support of her grandmother.
But I think that’s the point: it only represented those things. Nothing will erase the memories of her confirmation ceremony. No person nor thing can erase the vows she made that day. Nothing will ever change her grandmother’s love for her.
That pretty little mug may have been one of life’s simple pleasures, but it does not compare to the Kingdom gifts we will enjoy because of Jesus Christ. The here and now is minuscule compared to the expanse of God’s eternity, and our time here is fleeting. Instead of mourning a small loss this morning, I am choosing to be grateful for the experience of the gift itself.
Yesterday while driving through town, the radio played Matthew West’s song “Broken Things,” and I hear it playing on a loop in my head this morning.
Like that coffee mug, I am broken into pieces … by sin, disappointment, loss, health conditions, and an endless list of failures. I eagerly await the Kingdom of Heaven where I will be made new forever. Thank the Lord He loves broken things!