Wipe Outs and Broken Caps
It silenced the entire auditorium, and can still take my breath away as I think back on it. My daughter was the new kid on the block, and had recently transferred from a small, rural school to the largest public school in the city. Graduation was a daunting milestone she had worked hard for, and it was all eyes on her as she came through the curtain with a stunning smile, in her graduation gown. She had bought a beautiful new dress for the event, and against her own better judgement, and her Mothers concerned suggestions to wear flats, she decided on fancy platform shoes. With fear in my soul, I watched her make her way to the front of the stage to be announced. She shuffled and sidestepped a bit, but seemed to pull it together for the final few seconds of her well earned moment of celebrity. And then it happened. In a second that seemed to move in slow motion, a thousand people held their breath in disbelief as my 17 year old daughter tripped, and then literally launched off the stage, down the steps and landed like a pretzel on the floor.
Insert a horrified-hush….
And then this Mother’s gasp....
As people clamoured to her rescue, she pulled herself off the floor, got back up on her fancy platform shoes, threw her hands in the air and with a victorious smile and a resilient nod, yelled to the shocked crowd, “I’m ok!” And just like that, with her bold declaration, the entire auditorium erupted with enthusiastic cheers of celebration. High fives awaited her as she hobbled her way to her seat, and laughter rang through the audience as people regrouped with relief that this young lady was ok.
Without a doubt, this memorable display of resilience earned her a reputation among her peers, and she continues to go down in history as that girl who fell off the stage at grad.
But do you know what I remember? I remember the girl who fell off the stage, and then got back up. I remember the silence at her fall, and the celebration at her recovery. And I remember the beautiful, smiling face meeting me after the ceremony, with her torn gown, broken cap and rug burned knees. It’s not the fall that stands out for me, its the recovery. And you know what, I was one proud Momma.
As I reflect back on my daughters graduation mishap, I see myself in her story. And maybe you can relate too; life is full of wipeouts and broken cap situations. We say and do things that harm ourselves, and others. And we trip and tumble through difficulties that threaten to take us totally off course. Sometimes we bounce up, dust ourselves off, adjust the cap, declare, “I’m ok!”, and move forward. While other times, we stay face down on the floor for a time, not sure how to get up, or how to be ok.
As Christians we know that our wipe outs and broken caps do not go unnoticed by Jesus. He is standing by in every situation, watching us closely as we navigate the valleys, longing for us to turn to Him for help and healing. Sometimes in these nose dives and face plants we forget to turn to Him. I am so grateful that even when we forget to turn towards Him, He has not forgotten to turn towards us. He promises to rescue and redeem us, and He promises to make beautiful things come from brokenness. As we lean hard on Him through the tumbles and brokenness, lets make Him a proud parent. Lets decide that we won’t stay flat out and broken, but rather lets throw our hands in the air, reaching to Him for rescue and redemption. He can dust us off, fix the brokenness and make us ok. Redeeming wipe outs and fixing broken things are some of His specialities.