I couldn't find the top metal piece to one of our floor lamps this morning.
“Where is it?” my wife asks. I shake my head, knowing I took it off when we moved it, but not knowing where I put it. We've been living in our home for nine months now, and it still feels like we're moving.
“I don't know,” I say, glancing at the coffee table full of clutter: papers, makeup, deodorant, a few computer cables, and a laptop.
“Why wouldn't you just put it back on?”
It's a little screw that holds the lamp shade on. We pulled it off the other day when we were re-arranging the living room. The smart place to store it would have been on the lamp, once the shade was removed.
“I don't know,” I say. “Sorry.” I am saying this word a lot lately.
That screw is gone forever, beyond redemption.
We will never get it back. I am sure of it. That's the way life has been these days.
The other night, while registering for gifts at Babies-R-Us, I treated my wife to dinner. The next day, I realized I had left my wallet at the restaurant.
Yesterday, I had to drive across town back to the Olive Garden to convince the hostess it was, indeed, my wallet — without being able to show her my ID.
I reluctantly gave her my credit card, and she disappeared in the back room for a few minutes. When another woman emerged and handed me the wallet, I noticed my driver's license was missing. Great. Just great.
Just when I thought nothing else could go wrong…
* * *
If you haven't already done so, go read the rest of the story here.
Further thoughts on falling apart
Life is hard. I wish it weren't, but it is. And through those difficulties, we learn some of the best lessons about who we are and what our time here on earth is about.
I've had my fair share of days when it feels like everything was going wrong, like I couldn't do anything right. In fact, I still have them.
When those days come, it's not easy to get through them. But in those darkest moments, when it feels like all is lost — your business is failing, your marriage is over, the pain will never end — there's still hope. Still a reason to believe in something better.
I don't know want to sound overly optimistic here; I know things can suck sometimes. But I also know there's a deeper story being told, a redemptive one of grace and second chances.
And without it, I don't know how I'd make it through another day.
*Photo credit: Karen Burns (Creative Commons)