Monday, August 10, 2009


Twice a month I make my way to Target to browse and usually end up spending no less than $50. I love that store and all of it's worthless crap.

Did I really need that candle holder? Probably not, but it was calling my name and wouldn't let me leave without it.

Besides, where else can you buy milk, zip-lock bags, and underwear?

Last week I went there by myself late in the evening and looked around for almost an hour. I was feeling a little down about some things, and if there is anything more therapeutic to mild depression than shopping, I'm not sure what it is.

If you know, can you please share? My bank account would love you for it.

There are times I find myself thinking about the past and what I would like to change. There are some memories that look somewhat unattractive and choices made that lack wisdom and thought. The truth is, trying to change the past is like trying to grab a fist full of water. The efforts are futile and the results are always the same.

I've always seen myself as a "fixer". To say my family had dysfunctional moments would be an understatement, but nevertheless, as a kid I would always try to find the right things to say, or the right things to do to make everything right.

Things would be so much easier if you could wrap up all hurts in a tidy box with a neat little bow. Or maybe it would just look better from the outside. It may be more work to gather, comfort, and try to mend, then it is to sit back and watch the storm blow through. But sometimes watching the storm blow through while your hands are tied requires a greater strength: being weak. Sometimes the pain has to wash over you before you can find new growth in the ashes. I know I'm being vauge, but if you have been in the hole you will understand where I am coming from.

The year I turned 4 my parents put together a birthday party for me and invited over 7 or 8 little girls my age from the neighborhood to celebrate. They celebrated the way most 4 year olds do with lots of "mine!" and "no!". It wasn't exactly smooth and there was quite a bit of quarrelling. My dad got a lot of it on film and there is one part where we are all gathered around the kitchen table for birthday cake. You can see me observing two of the girls very closely who were in mid-fight over who got the better paper plate. I had the handle of my fork in my mouth, brow furrowed, staring. I piped up in an attempt to intervene and fix by saying "STOP ahh-guing (arguing) you guys!"

I didn't even see the cake in front of me with 4 flickering flames waiting for me to extinguish with whatever a 4 year old wishes for.

I was sidetracked. Mending.

Life isn't free of pain. It isn't free of loss, confusion, despair, or hurt. Tears fall. Hearts break. But it is these pieces, these tiny pieces that make up the whole picture. And there is freedom in making the holes whole.

And sometimes if you look deep enough, you will find beauty in the cracks.

Back to the Target trip.

I was wandering through the kitchen gadget aisles in an attempt to find a Cupcake Courier (which I have since determined is elusive an next to impossible to locate) when I stumbled upon a perfectly white porcelain pitcher. I have a lot of pitchers in my house and really didn't see any need for another one. But I started thinking about a post I read awhile back on another blog. The writer had just lost her daughter, and shattered a pitcher as a form of therapy. She wrote a beautiful entry about it and it has stuck with me ever since. I haven't lost child, but some hurts have certain common denomiators and it's easy to identify with similar aspects of suffering. To be honest, haven't we all suffered in some way?

As I stood in aisle 17b next to the slow cookers and toasters, something clicked. I had to have that pitcher. I need to throw it against the wall and shatter it.

Imperfectly perfect.

We are all shattered, and those pieces aren't always beautiful and some of the edges are still sharp, but there is grace in the gaps and perfection in the brokeness. It is the broken pieces that have gotten me here, now. I am made of cracks and chips. I am not perfect, nor am I smooth or flawless. But it is those pieces that make the bigger picture. From struggles grow strength; wisdom from changes.

Each piece has contributed to who you are, now.

I plan on rebuilding the shattered pieces to serve as a reminder to where I have been and how that has contributed to my whole.

There is strength in the brokeness.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Thank you for sharing so honestly. I remember hearing the pitcher story, too on Angie Smith's blog. I think nows as fine a time as ever to break the pieces, to fall hard, so with His strength, we can mend again. God bless you