I have spent much of this year on the verge of tears. I have been trying to see the positive, to see God’s hand of provision. I am thankful that my health is intact, but most days I wonder what else can go wrong? I have been struggling with how to respond to the negative, and how to celebrate the positive when it often occurs moments before a hardship.
Now I want to be clear, no one has died, I still have a home, a job, and an amazing community around me. I am not Job or David on the run. I am just having a tough season for me. I know that many of you are going through much pain and loss and hurt. This is just where I am and what I found this morning.
I ran through my normal routine: I got dressed, did my makeup, grabbed my lunch, found my keys, locked up the back door and headed to the car. Then I saw it, I realized my car had been broken into. Surprisingly, nothing was stolen. It still runs. But the shards of broken glass litter my driveway, my front seat, my yard. These fragments are but a reminder of why I live in the neighborhood and why I work with World Impact.
It has been eleven years of this urban living, each day new and exciting, the unexpected always lingering in the background. I have never grown tired of the lifestyle or this place. There have been moments of soaring joy and intense pain—and yet I have never thought about about leaving. This morning’s driveway findings do not change a thing. The odd pain and struggle of this year do not change a thing. These events have not made me rethink my calling, and much worse could have happened. This event, while annoying and costly, did not actually hurt anyone. In fact, the broken glass made me more committed than ever to incarnational living and the life transforming work of the Gospel.
Today might not go down in history as an important day, nothing about this day is that special, but today I choose to recommit to following Jesus in the city. To see people as He sees them. Christ, while on earth, was all about the potential of the broken, the inner workings of the shattered, and the worth in the damaged. I need to be about that also. When the sun hits the glass splayed across my backseat, the sparkle is like that of diamonds. I want to see the worth in the broken.
So, as I see the shattered glass at my feet, I think of how Christ would have reacted, with love and forgiveness overflowing. My heart breaks for the pain the person who caused this damage must be in. I want for them to find peace, I want for them to be creative not destructive, I want for them to build community instead of destroy, and I want them to know life and not desperation. So, while I clean up, I will pray for my neighborhood. While I sweep the glass into the dustpan and pick up the pieces of my splintered year, I will choose joy for myself and hope for my community.