From what I can remember of the story I was told all those years ago, they had been married for 25 years at the time.
And he travelled across the ocean with her to the land of her birth and he bought the tea set for her that had caught her fancy.
From what I can remember of him, he didn’t always do things like that.
Oh. He laughed deep and his love was deeper, but whims of fancy weren’t in his Mennonite Brethren style.
But he loved her, and while he served in WWII as a medic for the Canadian Army, his heart became hers – this woman from Glasgow with the past that was heartbreaking.
He made her his bride and called her Jeanie and she left all that she knew and moved to the Manitoba cold to join her life to his.
I remember sitting in her kitchen, months before my wedding day, after my grandpa had suffered from a stroke and she was learning a new facet to her well-worn vows said in her Royal Navy colors all those years ago.
We had spent the afternoon baking pies.
Well. She was trying to teach me, and I was failing miserably…her hands I loved so dearly patching up the gaping holes that kept appearing after my attempts.
She then moved on to ironing – surely I would need to learn how to properly iron the collar of my soon-to-be-husband’s shirt.
Whipping the cotton of my grandpa’s button up around so I could practice, she paused…and in the way she always said my name, with the hint of brogue around the corners, she said,
Kimberley, always remember. The least said, the soonest mended,
As summer came to a close, I remember kneeling in front of her china cabinet and slowly rolling newspaper around each teacup and plate. The sugar bowl and creamer held with wonder in my hands – because against my skin, I was holding extravagant love.
I came home from my weekend of speaking, and after our four crawled into bed, Tony leaned close and told me he had to tell me something.
In the middle of clean-up one evening after dinner, the sugar bowl had slipped from Lyla’s hands and lay broken on the floor.
And, in the space of a heart beat I heard, The least said, the soonest mended.
I pulled Lyla near the next morning and I told her that as precious as it was to me, the sugar bowl? It was just a thing. She carries infinite more worth and value. Besides, a bit of super glue could fix it and it would be useful again.
It’s something dear Jeanie would have done too.
My Lyla carried such shame on her face, and I think how easy it is for us all to walk around with broken spaces inside of us – shame spilling out of edges that can no longer hold it in.
How easy it is to become crippled, to walk weak and burdened down by all that we have done, to identify as *victim* and never move on from that space.
But Paul, in Galatians 5:1 calls out to us who were broken, who are still broken, who will break things in the moments to come,
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
In Christ, we have been made free – the things that are broken, are the chains of sin that ruled over us *until* our lives were made completely new in Christ Jesus at the moment of our salvation.
By His wounds we are healed, Peter tell us. Healed. Present tense.
Oh, the broken places may still exist, but even those can be used for God’s glory. They can. I’m slowly learning the truth of this…my prayer is that the one reading this will know it too.
As I took the name drawn from the little stack pulled from the comment section, and placed it in the smooth shard, I saw the beauty of brokenness made useful, and the truth of Paul’s words in Romans highlighted in a way I had not seen before,
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.Romans 8:38-39
Nothing. Not brokenness, not shame…nothing can separate the saved from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Maybe my life holds cracks and shards and brokenness…I bring them before Him in repentance and grief and I trust in His saving grace, His forgiveness – and then what He does with it all? I have faith that He will use it for His glory in His timing.
And that is why this bracelet, wrapped lightly around a wrist can carry the weight of gladness – because it points to the goodness and faithfulness of Jesus.
Elana, congratulations, friend. May you, and all of us, know the truth of this verse deeply,
You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.Psalm 16:11