Finding The Light When Life Shatters Around You

Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.

Helen Keller

Last night, I returned from an eventful trip to Minneapolis to celebrate Grandpa Miller‘s life. If you talk to anyone in my family, I think they will agree that this was not the trip we had planned.

I’ll spare you all the gory details, but I will tell you that the hotel glass shower door exploded as my Mom was getting out of the shower on Friday morning right before the scheduled visitation and funeral for Grandpa. Mom ended up taking an ambulance ride to the local hospital to get 12 stitches in her wrist and foot, several bandages, and a tetanus shot. And the funeral ended up being rescheduled to 2pm later that day. Needless to say, the whole family was a bit shaken by the morning that shattered our plans.

Yesterday morning as we gathered in the hotel lobby from breakfast and goodbyes, it was reassuring to see the shared smiles and laughter as we recounted the events of the previous day and as we reflected on time together.

We cannot always predict when life will send us a roadblock or an experience that leaves us shaken, but I there are things we can do to prepare us for these events and that we can do even when we find ourselves in a pile of broken glass and blood.

First, we can sing. Crazy as it sounds, my Mom, who has Alzheimer’s, began singing Great is They Faithfulness as my sister-in-law and my wife tried to stop the bleeding until the paramedics showed up. God is still great and faithful even when we find ourselves in a mess. Mom’s instinct to sing this song was right on.

Second, we can practice flexibility. I don’t like when things interrupt my plans, but here’s the deal: Life happens despite our calendars. No one could have planned for the exploding shower door. We had no choice but to adapt, and so we did. We changed the funeral time. We changed our lunch plans. And we moved forward.

Third, we can learn to be thankful. I am thankful my sister-in-law was in the room when the shower door exploded as she was able to help Mom and call for help. I am thankful for the hotel staff who helped us switch their room. I am thankful for the paramedics who arrived and quickly brought Mom to the hospital. I’m thankful for the funeral home who flexed when we had no other choice. I’m thankful for my family who rallied despite the circumstances. I’m thankful that God heals.

Helen Keller’s quote above is very appropriate. At one time or another, there will come a time when it feels like the world is shattering around us. We must have faith that the light will emerge. Keep on hoping. Keep on looking for the light.

You will be secure, because there is hope; you will look about you and take your rest in safety.

Job 11:18 (NIV)