I was very uncomfortable in the stranger’s home. It was beautifully decorated, as were all the guests. I felt woefully underdressed, way too casual for the upscale setting. She served drinks in lovely hand painted stemware which she had collected over a long period of time. When I get nervous, I tend to turn into a waitress, asking others if they need more… croutons… or whatever. It’s my way of mingling. As I leaned in to take the empty dish from an elderly lady who was perched on the settee, my goblet slipped from its place and shattered on the gleaming floor.
Mortified, I apologized to our elegant host. She grabbed a broom and a dustpan as she sweetly assured me, “We have things, but things don’t have us!” She tossed the remains of the broken glass into the trash, and I realized it was true. Even though I had carelessly broken one of her prized possessions, she cared more about how I felt than the shattered treasure.
What a great motto. It’s a good inventory question too, as-in “Does anything I own, own me?
By learning the first truth we can cling to a second which is just as important:
“People are more important than things.”
That way, if someone accidently breaks your only Jadeite bowl, you can toss it into the trash and think to yourself, “You are way more important than any stinkin’ dish.”
When I remember all the times I’ve been given grace… whew! Giving grace to others is a lot easier.
But before it goes in the trash, let me get a picture of the pieces.
Because now it’s not just a broken bowl…