Reflections from a Shattered Windshield

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                One day, I caught a ride from a friend whose windshield had recently shattered. As we passed through a dark tunnel, rows of lights illuminated the cracks until they sparkled like strands of tinsel. We exited the tunnel, and the blue sky drew my attention to a previously unnoticed spiderweb crack in the corner. Just then, the sun came from behind the clouds, backlighting it into incredible beauty. The segments shimmered in exquisite shades of lapis lazuli, sapphire, aquamarine, pearl, opal, and diamond. Every fractal was delicately outlined in tracings of gold and silver, and each point inlaid with a tiny Swarovski crystal. It reminded me of the most intricate piece of jewelry, a stunning stained-glass masterpiece. Every moment, I grew more fascinated: the fragmented windshield re-arranged each building, stop-light, and tree in ever-shifting colors and patterns, transforming the mundane into a world of extraordinary wonder. It was like being inside a giant kaleidoscope. Utterly enchanted, I nearly blurted out, “Man, I wish I had a cracked windshield!” Then I realized how absurd that sounded. It would be ridiculous to wish catastrophe upon us – but I surely was going to savor every moment of that ride!

                Later that evening, I began to ponder on how this parallels life’s journey. We can be merrily riding along, and wham!  Suddenly, tragedy strikes, shattering our vision, and filling our view with destruction. But then, the light of God’s love begins to shine on us. His grace irradiates our suffering until it becomes a luminous portal through which we glimpse His greatness. I reflected on various heart-wrenching trials of my past, and how I now count them among my most cherished memories, for it was in those moments that I truly learned to know Him.

                Little did I realize that day that God had given me this windshield revelation for a reason. He was providing me with a precious precept to hold on to in the coming months. The following week, my husband went in for what was supposed to be a simple surgery. A few days later, we got the phone call that would shatter our immediate future: “It’s cancer.” Our world imploded, blurred, became discombobulated.  Jagged splinters of reality pierced through the daze: “rare and aggressive melanoma,” “surgery” “radiation, chemo, experimental drugs,” “tumor in the lymph nodes” “stage 3 cancer.” We were stunned, bewildered, devasted. Because of the rarity of this cancer, my husband’s oncologist sent us to MD Anderson in Houston, a nine-hour drive for us. As I watched the sunrise through my car window that first trip, I recalled the illustration of the shattered windshield, and clung to that promise.

Glimmers of God’s grace began to penetrate through our desolation. Every time we grew afraid, His presence instantly enveloped us, holding us as a father embraces his frightened child. He led us to encouraging verses at just the right moment. Just a few are:

“Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee.” (Ps. 55:22)

“Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness.”  (Is. 41:10)

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength:” (Is. 26:3-4)

                Day by day, He uplifted us.  Never have I felt His presence in a sweeter way than through this ordeal. Truly, He has given us a peace that passes all understanding. This is a not a trial I ever wanted to go through. I can’t wait for it to be over.  I don’t know what the future holds; I am writing this from the waiting room at the oncologist. We hold strong faith for his healing, but only God knows what lies ahead.  But this much I know: He has given us incredible joy in this journey. Logically, I know that this should be the hardest thing we’ve ever been through, but honestly, He has surrounded us until all I can see is His glory. He has transfigured our brokenness into beauty. I am ready for Him to fix our situation, but until He does, I am going to sit back, trust Him, and marvel at the wondrous handiwork He has wrought through it.