When they bring the wreck to your front yard
Thank God for tow trucks. I am grateful for the big hooks on the enormous chains and the back end that leans up and slides off a busted up car. They do their job and I am grateful. But this time, I didn't want the wreck brought to my front yard. I wanted it somewhere else, a problem for someone else to deal with, or at least hidden behind some trees so that I didn't have to be reminded of what it represented.
Last Wednesday, my son was in an accident, and when I got the call I threw down the hair color and bra that I was about to purchase in Walmart and ran out the door with my other 4 children to get to him. He was shaken, and upset, but he walked away with a bump on his head and a bruise on his arm after being hit by an 18 wheeler carrying 4000 gallons of gasonline. It was a miracle and I give all glory to Jesus for his safety and I am convinced that big strong angels turned his car just at the right moment so that we could wrap our arms around him and have him safe and whole instead of visiting him in the hospital, or even not having him in our arms at all. It was sobering and frightening and a reminder of what matters in this life and how quickly things can change.
The real heartbreak for him here is his car, a 1988 300ZX that he has spent the last year or so redoing, spending many nights until 4am with his arms covered in grease. Although he didn't spend much money on it, literal blood, sweat and tears went into that car and he had to now see it crumpled up next to a guardrail. I felt sick to my stomach and held my big strong football player son in my arms while he wept. It was hard- I don't care anything about that car personally except that he loved it and now it was gone.
So we waited on the tow truck, and watched it drive off to take the car somewhere for a few days because we had a school retreat to attend the next morning early...we would deal with it when we got home.
And then came yesterday. Somehow, seeing that wreck on the back of the truck coming down the driveway was much worse that seeing it on the side of the road. The last time it had come down the driveway, my son was driving it home from school, T tops out and music playing, walking in smelling like a stinky locker room but with a smile on his face. Now he was expressionless.
We had to find somewhere to put it, and it is an eyesore. Because of so much rain lately, the ideal spot behind some trees was too wet and the tow truck couldn't get back there. The only choice was right near the driveway, in plain sight. I can't get into my van now without seeing it parked there, crumpled and sad, and it's in full view of my boys' bedroom window.
I don't want my wrecks out in the open.
When I see this car, I can feel all the things it stirs within me- fear of what could have been, gratefulness that my baby is ok, sadness at all of the hard work now lost, worry about how to provide him something else to drive, and a million other things swirling around in my heart and head.
I would rather have it hidden and put away, neat and tidy, ready to move on to something else, but there it is and there it is going to stay. I worried about Joseph seeing it right in front of him and how it would make him feel so bad. But an amazing thing began to happen yesterday afternoon, and today, as we realize that wreck is just part of our landscape, for now.
Joseph, and his dad, began to look at it... to really look. To see beyond the damage that had been done to what was salvagable. To use their knowledgeable vision to pick it apart in their minds and decide what could be used for something else, or in another car, or sold... so many available options, and not being a car person, most of them were gibberish to me, but I could hear that there was a spark to the conversation instead of the deadness and pain I had heard before.
What had been just a wreck was now a possiblilty.
Isn't that just God's way?
I want the landscape of my life to look so nice, and neat, and clean, with all of my wrecks hidden away. Yes, they happened, and God spared me, now let's move quickly on and not talk about it anymore. But this is not acknowledging the value of the wreck itself. What could be inside that I need to use later on down the road? What might now be unusable to me but could be priceless to someone else if I have the courage to share it? What parts that are left might be just what is missing in some other situation in my life? It takes a knowledgable vision.
And I just don't have that on my own, not only about cars but also about my life. I have to go to the One who has a different perspective, and who recognizes that something I think is just junk is really a treasure. The only way to find out what is worth saving in the mess is to have the courage to leave the wreck out in the open, to look at it, to decide that it might not be pretty but it does belong to me and it has to be dealt with, and there is no way that I can handle it alone.
I don't know what my son is going to drive next. I hope that it is something that he loves and has invested in like he did this car. I hate to see that he is hurting and having to feel this grown up kind of disappointment. But this wreck is not the end- that metal and plastic and glass out there is a more than a crumpled mess- it's a life lesson. He is going to see that God can use our biggest messes to show us how much He loves us, how big His grace really is, and that with Him our endings are never really endings... they are beginnings of something new He wants to do. He is going to take the pieces of something broken and with God's guidance and his daddy's help, he is going to drive away one of these days in a testimony that began from what was hauled down our driveway on a tow truck.
I can't wait to see what You do, Lord...
I am a wife and homeschooling mom who absolutely loves her job! I love to read good books, enjoy art, and sit on my porch with family, friends and any passersby to talk about them and what a good, good Father we all have!