At church on Sunday we had a bit of an accident. We were cleaning up the cafe after our Easter service and a glass syrup bottle dropped to the hard floor and shattered. Everyone froze and we were trying to figure out how to move my flip-flop wearing 11 year old daughter out from the midst of the mess when blood drops started appearing. The tiny shards of glass had sprayed all over her bare legs. We carried her out of the glass and moved her over to a table where we could get a look at the damage.
The blood trips were tiny and fortunately there were no large cuts, but the tiny pieces were glinting under the lights. The blood drops bubbled dark red all over her pale legs. How were we going to clean her up? If we tried to brush them off they could cut her and cause even more damage. We couldn’t pick them off because there was no way we’d be able to find every tiny shard.
Then a man nearby, who hung around after service to talk with a newcomer, hurried over to help. “Don’t touch them,” he said. “We need water.” A cup of water was grabbed and he slowly poured the water over her legs, letting the water splash around on the table and floor. “See, the water will wash away the glass without hurting her.” We poured the water in sections, from her feet up to her knees and around every part. It took time, and it made kind of a mess, but we poured until there wasn’t one glinting piece left. Then as a final once over, we got her to the showers where we could spray her legs once again.
It could have been so much worse, so we are thankful to the Lord for protecting her. But it got me thinking.
Have you ever been sprayed with shards of “glass”? Pinpricks of pain left in your heart and soul from the thoughtless, the careless and the mean people who inhabit our world? Have you ever found yourself bleeding from a circumstance beyond your control? I have. A few months ago I had some people I trusted treat me horribly. There was no reason. There was no logic, and I felt like I had been sprayed with broken glass.
But just as that wise man who hurried over shared, you have to be careful how you handle that broken glass when it comes. You can’t ignore it, you can’t brush it away, and you can’t even try to remove it yourself. We need the “washing of the water of the Word” (Eph. 5:26) to cleanse us and make us whole. Jesus is the Living Water (John 4:10) who gently, carefully and lovingly pours Himself through us to wash away what could damage us further.
We always have a choice when we are wounded. We could turn away from help and try to deal with it ourselves – allowing the glass to fester, dig into our skins and damage our souls with bitterness and unforgiveness. The longer we wait, the deeper the glass digs in, and the harder it is to wash it away.
Or we can put ourselves – quickly – into the hands of Jesus, who will gently wash those wounds and bring healing as we stay close to Him, fill ourselves with His Word, and walk in love and forgiveness. I have seen this to be true. I have seen God be faithful. He is our stronghold. He is our Help. And He is the One who has our backs. And that’s enough. And that glass that was sprayed at me – it isn’t there anymore. Nothing pricking into my soul. Just trust and faith that the Lord will see His plan through. And I’m just going to tuck in and follow Him wherever He leads.
You can too. Lord, I pray that whoever is reading these words that knows the feeling of that broken glass, that You will draw near and wash them. That where there is brokenness and pain, they will trust You to bring healing and wholeness. That they will not cling to the pain and the glass, but that they will cling to You alone. That they will choose love and forgiveness so that they might obtain the life that You have for them. You are faithful! Amen