Last week’s mom’s group was a little bigger than normal since we had several families with kids out of school for spring break. It was a little bit louder and a little bit crazier.
And somehow, in the midst of the chaos, Sarah’s computer screen got busted into lots of little bitty cracks.
Now there are several different scenarios that could have played out at this point.
Sarah could have been over the top sad and/or angry about the broken computer. She worked her first real job all last summer to make that major purchase. For many in her position pitching a fit would seem entirely justified.
Instead, after her initial shock, she checked the extent of the damage and was thrilled to learn that she could still access her school work. More than that she said she shouldn’t have left it on her bed.
The mama’s could have scooped up their babies and made excuses. Instead, even though they weren’t sure who was responsible, they all apologized for not watching their kids closer. More than that, they’ve all offered to help defer the cost of the repair.
It would have been easy for everyone involved to overreact and shift blame but instead everybody owned their piece of it. We all recognized that we could have and should have done a few things differently.
There will be a somewhat costly end to this incident for all of us but not nearly as expensive as it could have been. I am not talking about money either.
Sometimes it’s not a computer screen that gets broken but rather the relationship and when that happens it is usually far more costly than anyone is prepared for.
It costs something to practice hospitality and it costs something to be in community.
Sometimes it’s literally your stuff and sometimes, spiritually speaking, it’s your life.
Your heart is bound to be bruised and your feelings are guaranteed to be hurt at some point along the way.
Sometimes everyone involved will own their piece of the fiasco and forgiveness and restitution will be sought and given. Other times you may find that you are having to bandage your own broken heart and work to make sure that the infection of bitterness isn’t allowed to fester.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this though. We follow an example of the greatest act of hospitality mankind as ever known…a life given in death to create a holy community. We are asked everyday to imitate what Christ did…it’s who we are and it’s what we do in our families and in our churches. Our death to self nurtures that holy community and it changes the world.