She grabbed an ornament off the tree. Not just any ornament, but pure crystal and collectible. My in-laws have sent 4 years of them now. I’ve balked at having such fragile things around. It’s just material, not necessary or worth the money. We should get by with simple, non-elegant things that don’t take our focus or concern right? But it was a gift, so I explained that I didn’t want her taking the ornaments off, that this one was fragile and we need to treat it gently. I hung it back fairly high on the tree.
As this little happening occurred, I thought about all the fragile gifts in life . . . The people in her home. The friends she has and the ones she has yet to meet. Her own heart which doesn’t always know the best way. Her own body, a gift she must care for and not subject freely. All these are a few of the fragile things in life. Interesting they’re all people?
It’s easier to be careful with a crystal snowflake, it seems to me. We fail by accident, we fail on purpose. Glass crashes all around us and we’re often deaf to the noise. We have shards wedged in our palms, blood on our hands. Just as I would rather not own a crystal ornament, wouldn’t we also rather not get closer to another? Sarcasm cuts in like a plastic decoration.
It seems futile for one to teach another about love and handling with care. As I show her how to hold a crystal, I know all the shattering I’ve done with my words and actions. Still, what’s good is good and I must teach her though I don’t know or act fully.
Standing by the tree and watching her hold this crystal, it’s the time we hear again of Peace come to earth, and many wonder where it is. In this moment I’m reminded of its mysterious dwelling . . . the crevasses of fragmented hearts. The ones which have dropped and been dropped. Those which have shattered and know they can’t fix it.
When you see the blood on your own hands . . .
helpless to put the sharp edges together again . . .
you’ve heard a promise that brokenness will one day be wholeness . . .
that a fragile babe broke in to set our hearts awaiting . . .
. . . that’s the heart where peace lives right now.