Monday, August 31, 2009

Life Has It's Way

When I was growing up, my dad had a favorite coffee mug. It was a mug he picked up from a local trucking company. It was one of those freebie cups that businesses give away for advertising.

My dad LOVED this coffee mug.

It had a green truck on it. When I was very young, and my dad would ask me for a coffee refill, he would use reference points on the truck to guide me.

"Give me an 'axle job'"

"Fill 'er to the top of the cab."

"To the bottom of the cab will do."

He loved this cup and it forged a special bond between us as I was growing up.

When I was 16 years old, the unthinkable happened.

I broke the mug. It slipped out of my hands into the sink and broke.

I was devastated. So was he. It was very traumatic for us both.

I never really got over breaking that mug. It weighed heavy on my mind for several years to come.

At some point when I was in college, I went to visit a friend of mine in our home town. She had recently moved in to her grandmother's house. We were preparing to drink some coffee together and I opened her kitchen cabinet to get us our mugs.

There, to my shock, and delight, were 2 mugs, exactly like the one my dad once had. The very same promotional mug that I had broken! These mugs were at least 20 years old! Her grandma, or more likely her grandpa, had picked them up around the same time my dad had acquired his. I simply couldn't believe it.

These mugs meant nothing to my friend. I asked her if I could have one for my dad and she was happy to give me one.

I'll never forget the look on my dad's face when I handed him the mug. Through life's generosity and grace, I had restored what was lost.

We never know what forces will mobilize to restore that which has been taken from us.

At times it feels like we have lost something completely irreplaceable. Other times we simply feel we will never recover from the loss of something we love.

Life has a way of working things out for us if we are willing to simply allow it.