Saturday, August 24, 2013

Counting the many things that have gone RIGHT.

Last week I delivered dinner to a special friend and colleague whose father recently passed away.  Perhaps because cooking isn't one of my favorite domestic endeavors, it's always been a great help when friends have made meals for our family when we were in need.

(Case in point, my pastor's wife once lavished us with a chicken pot pie that was so delicious I wanted to cry when I ate it.  Mind you, I had just had a baby, so crying was my typical response to most everything.  The baby yawned?  A car commercial showed a toddler growing up into a teenager?  My printer ran out of paper?  All perfectly legitimate reasons to cry.)

At any rate, receiving a meal is one way I've felt loved, so I find myself trying to love others in this way, too.  After I dropped off the meal and hugged my friend, I prodded my kids back into our minivan, backed down her driveway, and then proceeded to crash into her mailbox.

Because nothing says, "I'd like to bless you and make your day easier" than inflicting damage to someone's personal property.  Essentially, it was a mailbox beheading.

With the mailbox cradled in my arms, I walked up the driveway to her house and rang her doorbell for the second time, holding the mailbox out like a bizarre second offering.  See?  Just a few minutes ago I gave you lasagna.  Now I have a mailbox for you.  Surprise!

Her graciousness was astounding, and she shared multiple stories of driveway and mailbox woe.  Her husband had run down the mailbox before, too.  A separate time, their car inexplicably had drifted down the steep driveway overnight, and they woke to find it in their flower bed below.  "It's the Bermuda Triangle of driveways!" she reassured me, mentioning that it would be an easy fix.

There we were, two friends, both trying to make the best of damaged situations, and it struck me as terribly ironic and oddly comical and wonderfully reassuring all at once.  Somehow, in the midst of all that had just gone wrong, we were finding ways to remember what still was right.

Any given day, it's easy to focus on the what's gone wrong, but I want to be a person who pauses and recalls what's right.


So much goes right.  The other day I tossed a bag of outgrown clothing into a drop-off donation box, and my car keys (which I unwisely had looped around my index finger) slipped from my grip mid-toss.  Before I could even process, the keys clanged against the chute, teetered, and then miraculously fell onto the pavement outside rather than plummeting downward into the cavernous steel box. 

That day, my kids and I didn't get stranded, keyless, in the Sam's Club parking lot.  I didn't need to awkwardly contact the Salvation Army and ask them to return my accidental donation.  Even better, I didn't need to dumpster-dive headfirst into a donation box.  That situation could have gone so wrong, but look how right it went!

Unfortunately, some days you crash into your friend's mailbox when you're trying to make her day better. 

Thankfully, more often than not, we miss the mailbox. 
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4 comments:

  1. How I love your writing and your perspective. Perhaps you and your friend needed to have a bit of a chuckle about the mailbox.


    Your story about your keys reminded me of when I accidentally threw my keys into my condo's garbage bin. Unfortunately I had to climb in to get them (while stealing glances over my shoulder hoping that none of my neighbours were watching me). Fortunately it was an empty bin - it could have been full of garbage (now that would have been bad)!


    Positive perspective, what went right, so important to remember.


    Thank you for blessing me with these thoughts. Wishing you a lovely evening.
    xoxo

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  2. And, at least it was your friend's box instead of a stranger's.

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  3. Jennifer, somehow I can imagine you climbing into the garbage bin, but managing to do so gracefully because that's how you seem to operate in life. (I'm glad that it was empty for you, too!)

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