Vulnerable Post Alert! I recently sustained a back injury--the type of injury that makes you wonder how people can live with chronic debilitating pain. As I was crying, screaming and moaning (let’s be real—I’m a terrible patient!), I asked myself, “Lord, what are you trying to teach me?” My mind was spinning with ideas, like the need to slow down. However, I recently created more margin in my life, so I knew that wasn’t it. Then, the image of this beautiful tea cup came to mind.
I’ve been collecting tea cups for almost 25 years and this was one of the first in my collection. As I was preparing for a little tea party with my family, I noticed that the tea seeped from the tea cup. I initially thought it was a spill, so I cleaned it up and re-poured some tea. Once again, I noticed more seeping. I discovered that the tea cup had a crack in it, but the strange part was that it was invisible to the naked eye. This image came to mind as I was contemplating what I can learn from my back injury. My heart, like this tea cup, had little fissures of resentment, frustration and pride. I internalized it as “micro-moments.” It wasn’t anything blaring or obvious, but little moments of an eye roll, a passive word under my tongue, an angry heart for pervasive division and ignorance, and the list (sadly) goes on. Over the course of this week, I have asked for forgiveness, knowing that this is not who I want be. These little fissures not only reflect the fractures in my back, but more importantly, the cracks in my heart.
Every experience has the opportunity to teach us something, if we are willing to ask and willing to listen. I find myself looking at this week and feeling grateful for the life lesson, one that I will surely learn repeatedly throughout my life. I echo the sentiments of the Psalmist David when he said, “what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him?” (Psalm 8:4). Dear friend, whatever you are going through, I encourage you to search your heart. One of the most life-giving questions for my own life is “what can I learn from this experience?”
One committed to processing truth, finding light in the darkness, savoring the simple, and living fully.