A Fragile Balance

Fiction Friday hosted
at Rick's Pod Tales
For Fiction Friday...

Shattering glass in the kitchen jerked Lauren's head up.

“What just broke?” she called, doing a mental inventory of what had been on the counters. The sudden silence guaranteed heartache. “Do I want to know?”

“Um, I don't think so, Mom,” came the quavery reply.

Lauren's eyes clenched shut. The reigning silence easily carried her voice, “My china mug?”

“Ah, yeah.”

Looking up at the ceiling Lauren groaned. Lord, that was my favorite gift from Mom...

Taking a deep breath she stepped into the kitchen and encountered two pairs of wide eyes.

“We weren't horsing around, Mom, honest.”

“I'm so sorry, Mom. I tossed the pot holders to Brad to put away, but I threw too hard and they knocked your cup.” Tears edged his voice.

Holding up her hand for silence Lauren hunkered down and observed the damage. Scattered across the linoleum were the remains of the china mug her mother had given her after returning from England. It was the prettiest thing she owned and she treasured it.

Promise me you'll use it and not just leave it sitting on a shelf, her mother demanded when the tissue paper had revealed the roses nestled in baby's breath painted on the delicate china. It's made for service, Lauren, just like we're made for service to our Lord.

But it'll get broken if I use it, Mom. Growing kids are killers on glass and fragile things; have you forgotten how many glasses I broke when I was a kid?

Being broken is part of being used. Don't fear it...

A few short years later her mom was completely dependant on others for her basic needs: she was physically broken, yet she was still being greatly used by God.

“Don't move. Let me get these pieces first, then we can take care of the splinters.” She gathered them all onto a plate and carefully set it aside. Looking at the boys she saw trembling chins.

“I'm sorry, Mom.”

Lauren pulled them into a hug. “I know you weren't horsing around, you were working together and getting your jobs done quickly. It's ok.”

“But it was your favorite, Mom.”

“Yes,” she sighed, blinking fast. “It was my favorite, but what's done is done; there's no going back. Besides, there's more to life than a pretty china mug. C'mon, let's finish taking care of this mess.”

Later she picked up the plate of shards and went to her desk, finally allowing a few tears to fall. Lord, my mother is in a broken body yet she's still beautiful and You're using her, just not as You used to. This cup has been special to me for so many years and I 'm not ready to let go of it yet. Can I have it for a little while longer?

Wiping her eyes, Lauren pulled out the super glue and painstakingly pieced it back together, her mom's words echoing in her heart. Being broken is part of being used. Don't fear it...

When she was done, the mug was laced with glue lines and had several chips on the rim and the footed base. There was no way it would ever be used as a drinking cup again, but to Lauren it was beautiful.


“Come see, guys,” she said, turning to them with an exhausted smile.

Disappointment filled their eyes when they saw it.

“It's ok, boys.”

“How? It's still all busted up, even though you glued it.”

Lauren smiled. “True, but its life isn't over, it just has a new purpose.”

The boys looked dubiously from the china mug to their mother.

“It's going to sit on my dresser and remind me to always get on with life and let God use me and work through me, even when there are pieces missing.”

“Kinda like Granma?”

“Yes, son, like Granma.”

This is one of my favorites. As I wrote it, the message reached out and gripped my heart, sinking deep inside me. The china mug in the story (and picture) is real, and I'm happy to say it's still in one piece. It was simply the jumping off point for the story.

There was supposed to be an author spotlight today, but something must have come up--If I hear back from her in time, I'll put it up just as soon as I get it.

Don't forget to check in at Rick's for links to more Friday Fiction!


  1. Love this one, Peej. Great story with a great message.

  2. Man, you had me. I was grieved such a pretty piece was broken. I'm sentimental also. Your story was very real!!!

  3. LOVE this one. As soon as I saw the title, I got out the tissues. This is probably one of my favorites of your too (but I think I say that every week! LOL). What an incredible message.

  4. Oh, you made me cry. Beautiful story, beautiful lesson, and beautiful writing.

  5. I love this story. So touching.

  6. I remember this one! Great to read it again! ^_^ (and I love the picture of the china cup there)

  7. Love this, Peej! It's a perfect way to look at our salvaged lives, isn;t it?


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