When we're sweeping up the broken pieces


I wrote this post several years ago, but added an update that I think adds a sweet ending to this story.


Jerry stood at the sink washing up a few things in the kitchen (bless him) when a stemmed goblet fell and broke.

If we’d only known then what we know now, we would have in literary terms called that event a foreshadowing.

A few moments later, I heard from my office what sounded like a car wreck in the kitchen.

I leaped from my desk and ran in there. “What happened?” I said staring at one of the biggest piles of broken glass I’d ever seen in a house.

He pointed to a lower cabinet. “I opened that door there, and dishes just seemed to leap from the cabinet. It’s like they were breaking on the way down.”

A movie reel flicked in my mind—something like a computer-generated scene from a sci-fi movie of fragmented glass dispersing in slo-mo.

I stooped to look at the glass and couldn’t figure out what it had been before it was this. Casserole dishes? Serving trays? On the shelf where this was, there were also bits of glass. I didn’t have any idea how this happened. But I knew what it meant.

We had to take every dish, pot, and tray from the top and bottom shelves of the cabinet and wash it to make sure no shards of glass were on them.

Hadn’t planned to do that.

Didn’t want to do it.

And yet, that’s what we did.

We also, swept and reswept to remove any glass from the floor.

Tired.

Sometimes, you just drop everything and do what it takes whether you want to or not, especially when it comes to broken people. Because we’ve all been that in one way or another, and Jesus came for shattered lives, crushed hearts, and fragmented souls.

 I still don’t know what that pile of glass was. Spiritually speaking, we’re going to face times with ourselves and others when we won’t have the answers we want, but God does. We must trust that if we do what we can to help clean things up, God’s doing His part.

So, as we sweep up the pieces, not knowing all that’s ruptured or even how it got that way, we know the One who does know—the One who was “. . . sent to bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61:1).

The original post ended at this point, but as an update to this story, sometime after this event, a dear friend approached me at church. “I read your post about the broken glass, and I found these for you.” She showed me several pieces of vintage glassware she’d bought in antique stores, one of which I've pictured above.

I accepted the pieces from her and couldn’t believe what she’d done. Though I wasn’t for sure what had been lost, those pieces couldn’t have compared to the beauty of the ones she was giving me.

I was reminded again that often in our brokenness, we can’t imagine things will ever be right again, but because of the kindness of a friend, just as my crushed pieces were replaced by these beautiful vintage ones, God wants to do something beyond our imagining.


Beverly Varnado is the author of several small town romances from Anaiah Press including her latest, A Season for Everything. All are available at Amazon. A memoir, Faith in the Fashion District,  from Crosslink Publishing  is also available as well as her other books, Give My Love to the Chestnut Trees and Home to Currahee. She also has an Etsy Shop, Beverly Varnado Art. 

To explore the web version of One Ringing Bell, please visit bev-oneringingbell.blogspot.com

Beverly Varnado copyright 2022                                    

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