Saturday, May 26, 2007

Fractures

The other day a guy cut me off in traffic. Really close. And I had to crush my brake pedal to the floor, you know the routine, and still, I was barely able to stop in time.

I felt this huge rush of anger and I yelled at the guy who couldn’t hear me and I slammed the heel of my hand against the windshield.

And it cracked.

A spider web of anger, spreading across the glass.

Of course he didn’t see me or hear me, just raced on and I felt slightly stupid and, ok I admit it, slightly proud of myself for actually punching a crack in my windshield with my bare hand. Then I got to tell my wife and that was exciting too.

She took it a lot better than I expected.

And so, now it’s going cost me, not the guy who cut me off, to get the cracks fixed. Or the windshield replaced, we’ll have to see what happens.

I can blame him all I like, but the damage is the fault of my fierce anger, not his reckless driving.

****

My heart, glass as it is, fragile and unsuspecting, stands cracked in so many places where I’ve slammed my fist into it, again and again, pounding my rage against the world, splintering my life from the inside out while the world races past me. And never even notices or cares.

And all the while I am the one.

I’m the one responsible for all of this fractured glass, all of this brokenness, not the world.

Every time I form another fist and start swinging, I just hurt myself. And the world continues to rush past me on its way to wherever it is we’re all going, together.

3 comments:

Susan Talbot said...

Your honesty is so refreshing...wish I could be like you when I grow up and then my grown children might stop calling me "cheesy"..

I'm reading "Sailing Between the Stars" and getting super blessed...your writing is as amazing as your speaking. Really, I mean it.

Thank you Steven for the great workshop at BRMCWC and the WAY you teach! I'm excited finding your workshops online and will be loading some as I am just embarking on this fabulous writer's journey 4Him...whoops cheesy...? Again thank you from the "humblest woman you know." Bless you and your "girls", Susan Talbot

Flea said...

What a nice back yard.

I've seen the broken glass. My kids and I were the cracked and broken glass for a long time. For a while I thought we would all crumble, you know how tempered glass does? Like a waterfall. And there's no way to replace a family, your children. We were THAT CLOSE to tumbling down.

Then the angry, frustrated, depressed one sought help. It's amazing how God repairs glass hearts. There are still cracks, strained places. None of us healed all at once.

It was tempting to think that the angry one was hurting just us, not himself. Thank you for reminding me that that's not so. I see the cracks in him sometimes, just as big as ours, but sometimes, looking through my own broken glass (cracks appeared long before I knew this man), I forget I'm not the only broken one.

Thank you for being real.

Steven James said...

flea,

There's powerful line in a movie I saw years ago about these two mountain climbers. One guy gets so mad at the other guy that he says, "It's people like you that make the world the way it is."

And his friend replies, "We all make the world the way it it."

We all have fractures and when the glass in one heart breaks, it wounds all those who are close to it.

I'm glad things are better in your family. The God who cares enough to die is also the God who cares enough to heal. Stay on the journey.

-sj