Time: The Poor Man’s Stress Test
Walking from my dorm this morning, I was struck by the beauty of the frost that was still clinging to the shade of the trees. It’s already about forty-five degrees outside, yet the chill in the darkness was still enough to keep grass in a white glow. Beyond the marvel of this, I spotted a pool of water around the base of a small tree. The water was frozen across the surface, looking splintered and cracked but perfectly intact, perfectly transparent and flawless. The splintered marks of freezing were not flaws, but a part of the process. They were the most beautiful part of winter in spring.
In the past few weeks, I’ve found myself stumbling over a lot of self-reflection. Figures from my past have been showing their faces in dreams, making their way to the forefront of my mind through conversations and nostalgic pondering. Childhood friends, my Slovak grandparents, my own mistakes, the person I’ve become and how I got here. It’s funny how when needed, memories are as solid and tangible and snapshots. We can freely pick them up, feel them under our fingers, examine their details and sort them back in the drawer. I’ve been doing a lot of spring cleaning.
Much of this was started when I rediscovered my best friend from kindergarten through Facebook. At four in the morning, I friended her and sent her a message. Twenty minutes later we were catching up on chat. Not that much has changed even though we’ve spent over twelve years growing up without any contact with one another. In the midst of our conversation, she mentioned how good God is in her life – how he’s been drawing her to the things she loves most when she stopped looking for them.
My freshman year, I got into a relationship that sapped my self-esteem, my joy, my self-respect and my spiritual longing for fulfillment through Christ. I have been a part of difficult friendships, occasional frustration in my family, disappointment in myself and confusion as to where God is pointing me. But the more I’ve seen myself get wounded by the blows of life, the more I’ve realized that I’m not a broken person. I carry some cracking and scarring and some near-breaking points, but I’m still whole, I’m still vibrant and I’m finding myself being drawn to the things I love – passions, people, future opportunities. Someone finds me beautiful because of what I’ve been through, cracks and all. Some of the most beautiful artwork is made through trial, damage and pain.
I am the thin, crystal-clear ice on a spring morning.
We can exhibit all the signs of fracture without ever having been broken.