The moment in which we had a meltdown in our marriage last week. That was after LeRoy number-crunched, tallied totals and, well, hundreds of thousands, millions, gjiillions of dollars later... Then, we decided not to worry about it.
Like the moment on August 11 when we received the call from friends who hoped to purchase our home. Everything fell so neatly into place a couple of months earlier. They had buyers for their house. We secured legal representation. House inspections were done. Earnest monies paid. The closing date was set for August 20, four days before our departure for Germany.
Until their would-be buyers called to say they were out of the deal. That they didn't want to buy our friend's house after all. Which was the contingency for them to buy our home.
So, we went to their house for dinner. And they told us the theme for the party was, "Let's Not Worry About This!" Indeed.
And it was a perfect, worry-free night. Because they put chicken with fancy spices on the grill... which continued to catch on fire in spite of best efforts to use the squirt bottle and then the garden hose. (Wait. 60% of their house was in boxes, ready to move. Now that I think back, I'm not sure they could find the squirt bottle. I think we had to immediately go to the garden hose.)
The bees refused to be left out of such delicacies as Blackened Chicken, so they hovered over our plates hoping we'd share. The chicken was delicious and, sweet Bella, she decided to divert the bee's attention with a special mixture she put in a baggie on the middle of the table... which leaked everywhere. Everywhere.
And the bees weren't interested. Ah well, there was plenty of napkins for the cleanup -- Christmas napkins since they were the only ones to be found.
A few minutes later, the children played happily nearby while the parents finished eating... until we heard a pain-filled shriek coming from Bella who had caught her toenail on something and... well, I'll spare my friends who get queasy, the details. Suffice it to say that it's a blessing to have worry-free parents on hand. Why, I wish you could have seen it! They brilliantly applied triage to Bella's toe like it was the most natural thing in the world. She was smiling in no time, her toe bandaged, and we decided to get ice cream around the corner. No worries.
You know what? I've seen enough to know that these earthly matters are just. so.
Well, painful toenails are important. But when it's handled by the experts...
And ice cream is great anisthetic for these situations.
We're a little discombobulated on a surface level. Sure, there's a few material details to figure out. Yet, in the grand scheme of things...
...in light of Eternity.
We went downtown to Kaiserslautern with a tour guide today. Sabine is a brilliant historian and storyteller. One story she told was about the Stolpersteine -- "Stumbling Blocks." Do you know about this Holocaust Memorial? The more than 27,000 4-inch square blocks placed in front of homes throughout Germany and Europe that begin with, "Here lived..."
We visited Synogogue Square where candles burned in remembrance of the 400 Jews who were victims of Kristallnacht -- "Night of the Broken Glass." On November 9, 1938, throughout Germany, Nazis took to breaking the windows of shops owned by Jews. Sabine said it was reported that on one street near where we stood, the broken glass in the streets came to the ankles.
The priceless perspective that we live in a broken world where there's pain and injustice but that Grace pours in through all the disappointed, intimidated broken and I can choose the difficult thankful. That Joy poured in and thanks poured out are the triage for our souls. It's what Ann Voskamp calls "the broken-hearted hallelujah."
~ Ann Voskamp
And in my moments when house deals fall through and numbers intimidate and there's an all-out argument between siblings over the last of the Doritos, I breathe thanks.
Germany celebrates November 11th, too. But it's not Veteran's Day here. It's St. Martin's Day. Tonight in the villages, children will follow a man riding on a white horse who is wearing a red royal robe. They'll carry lanterns and watch as he approaches a beggar sitting alongside the road, barely dressed in this frigid cold. And they'll celebrate compassion and kindness as they witness the man on the horse give the beggar his robe. Brilliant.
It's a "Let's Not Worry About This" Party because, in the whole expanse of the world and all the shattered glass hearts, and the temptation to forget the silly house and bills and the Doritos and... goodness sakes, let's go save the world...
We're granted the gift of an entire month of courageously offering the hard thanks. And I think -- I'm pretty sure -- giving thanks is where saving the world begins. This moment right now is the grace-moment. Redeemed. And the next moment, too.
And the next.
And when we decide not to worry,
...but we do our best and we feel it isn't much...