I’m an egg-squasher. From “way back”.
It started in my Grandpa’s “Secret Garden”….
Grandpa’s yard was incredible. There were raspberries growing in a huge prickly sweet- hedge and a tremendous garden plot full of yummies.
When I spent the night there- my grandpa and I would get up early, go outside and “work in the yard.” (Well.. Grandpa worked, I picked flowers, ate raspberries and ran from bubble bees!)
One morning- Grandpa called me over to the mulberrry tree in the back corner of the yard. He stood tall, in the sun, with his hand stretched out to me… holding something tiny and blue….
It was a beautiful, perfect, tiny, blue robin’s egg. I gasped as he handed it to me. Grandpa said: “Be careful— go and show Grandma!” I was amazed and afraid. It was beautiful and delicate. “Should I be trusted with it?” I wondered. (I was – possibly a little less than gracious.)
I determined I would be trust worthy with this treasure.
I closed my hand around the egg to protect it. “I won’t drop it Grandpa, I won’t!” I said over my shoulder.
I it tightly as I ran. All the way across the yard to the door-wall.
“I made it! I didn’t drop it!” I said to myself, jubilant. But, something didn’t quite feel right. I peeked into my hand.
Tears filled my eyes at the sight of my treasure. I hadn’t dropped it. That was true- it was even worse: I’d squashed it.
I felt like a murderer. I cried. My Grandpa told me- the egg had already met its’ demise before I had ever seen it. It didn’t matter what he said, I was the one with the broken shell and goo in my hand.
I had loved it – to death.
I wish I could say learned to have a gentle grip that day. I wish I learned to hold things without squashing them. I didn’t.
I still hold things too tight, trying to protect them. Not robin’s eggs…I hold other things too tight. Other more important treasures: like my spouse, my dreams, my friendships and my children.
I sometimes try so hard to protect the things I love— that I squash them.
But, I’m learning. My 16-year-old now laughs. “Remember when you only let me ride my big-wheel from our driveway to our next-door neighbors? Man, Mom- talk about over protective.” (He was 6 at the time)
A friend and mentor “intervened” and suggested 1 driveway per year. (Hey—- maybe I should let him drive all the way around the block now….!!!!)
it’s true- while my kids sailed thru “Separation anxiety” in the normal and expected uncomfortable way. I, on the other hand- developed “carpal tunnel” from clenching and unclenching my hands so tight. Trying to hold on, but knowing the best thing for them to grow and thrive would be for me to LET GO……..
It’s hard . Like that little blue speckled egg- the things I love- I want to protect.
—–NEWSFLASH—- I am not in control of the universe. (which is probably a good thing…)
No matter how much I try to protect my children. I can’t. My Grandpa was a magical gardener— but- even in my Grandpa’s Garden there were little unsafe invaders. There were bugs that didn’t belong, birds that ate raspberries (before I got a chance!!) and eggs that fell from their nests.
I can’t stop them from getting hurt. I’m not fast enough or powerful enough.
Easter Eggs reminded me of this lesson each year. They also remind me of the reason why I CAN let go-
Why I can let my teenager drive a car. How I can let them go to public school, or otherwise be out of my sight. How I can let them go (much) farther than one driveway away.
It’s wrapped up in the Easter thing. While I am not in control of the universe- I know who is. God. While I don’t trust the world— (let’s face it— the world is a pretty sick and dangerous and wonderful place) I can trust the one who holds the world in His hand.
The more experiences I have- both good- bad- painful and happy—- the more that I learn— that whatever happens—- I can get thru. So can my kids.
But- not alone. See- when that egg broke in my own hand… I needed someone to tell me the truth. I needed someone to console and comfort me. To understand my grief. My guilt. And when I was afraid to let my 6 year old ride his big wheel, I needed someone to encourage me to let go and be reasonable.
My Grandpa did that in the backyard. My mentor did it in my driveway and Jesus does that in my life. He doesn’t always protect me or my children from pain but he always gets us through it.
I took recently took a picture of Noah and a treasure he’d found. A juniper berry- I think. He gently held it in an open hand. Loving it— showing it— not squashing it.
If you look at the picture, you can see something that amazed me. Noah’s hand and the berry appear blurred, but Noah, is sharply in focus.
Like the picture..I’ve noticed, that the more sharply I keep Jesus in focus, the looser- my grip becomes on the people, I love. Not because I don’t care, but because I know HE cares….. and will be there- with us—– regardless of the cracks that happen because we live…….in a bumpy world.
Dear Jesus- I can’t protect- myself- my kids my spouse or friends- from the hurts of life–
But- I want to. — I ask you to care for us-in this messy place- I ask you to help me to trust you- to help me hold them with a tender- but open hand- so I don’t SQUASH-em like a robins egg…..I love you Lord- please help me to trust you more- every day. Amen.