Tragedies have a way of showing us what really matters. Losing everything in a house fire or flood is devastating. The wildfires in the western United States have destroyed thousands of acres and raged indiscriminately through homes and businesses across the economic spectrum. Floods along the eastern seaboard and tornadoes in the Midwest are a seasonal reminder that nature doesn’t pay attention to what’s in its path. But almost across the board, the response of people who lose their material goods is simply thanksgiving for lives spared. Homes can be rebuilt, possessions can be replaced.
Even more minor accidents take us by surprise. I woke up before dawn one morning to the sound of crashing glass. My first thought was my curio cabinet, but it turned out to be a wall shelf in the kitchen that held my spice jars and a variety of coffee mugs. First, I was immensely grateful that none of the dogs got hurt by the falling shelf. And I was ridiculously pleased that the damage to my mug collection was relatively minor. I set about cleaning up the mess and got on with the day.
There was a time when I would have been far more upset at\ the breakage and loss. It reminded me of when my first dog was a puppy and chewed up a Steiff zebra that had been a Christmas present from my dad. I was sad about the loss, but knew that the bond I had with my dog Bosch was more important than a stuffed animal, no matter how precious. I learned an important lesson that day that has stayed with me ever since.
TAKE A DEEP BREATH
The words of Isaiah continue to offer us comfort and stability in a life that can seem to have neither:
For I, the Lord your God,
hold your right hand;
it is I who say to you, “Do not fear,
I will help you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
A SIMPLE GIFT
Accidents happen during this busy season. Baking treats and decorating the house can lead to spills and broken ornaments—even heirloom ones. Remember that the child or pet who was at fault is ultimately more important than the thing that got broke or the floor that needed to be cleaned.
—This blog was taken from the book Simple Gifts: Daily Reflections for Advent