The other night, a glass bottle of dijon shattered all over the kitchen. Little slivers of glass are still nesting under our fridge. I tried to pick up every piece I could, but I’m sure I missed some. The damage wasn’t traumatic, just completely irreparable. 

And so identity goes. You have dreams you carry with you like a precious locket-some concealed, some revealed. You have dreams of what your family will one day look like, what your job will be, what you will accomplish, what your contribution to society will look like…you have areas you hold sacred in your dreams, and command no heartbreak to poison or threaten. 

But, sometimes the glass shatters. The pieces are picked up, but it’s all irreparable. You did nothing wrong to deserve such sudden change, but in that moment, that is exactly what comes: a change, a shift, a reorientation. You lose a baby, you lose a friend, the cancer spreads. Things happen. The dijon falls. The glass shatters. 

And there will always be the slivers under the fridge. From time to time, those slivers sneak out and catch our heals, and remind us of the damage. Something makes our stomach drop and our heart bleed for a moment of remembrance. 

And those are the nights that we stay up and pray for our hearts to be renewed like the eagle’s (Psalm 103:5). 

And the mess remains but for a moment. We take our time to clean it up in whatever way we know how-and everyone knows a different way, and only you know the way the mess needs to be cleaned for you. Yes, there was mustard smeared all over the kitchen floor, but now, it is just a memory-we got the stench, we got the texture, we got the glass, we cleaned it up, but we put the fragile bottles elsewhere now. We laughed. We started over. We learned. We remembered. And now that the mess is gone, that’s what we do: we remember.