Last night, Kayla was working on a jewelry project. As she carried the boxes of beads back to her room, a small box on the top slid off and tumbled to the ground.
"Oh no!" She was very distraught. Beads bounced from one end of the living room to the other across our hardwood floors and down the stairs. Thousands upon thousands of tiny little seed beads, decorative beads, and glittery beads.
I placed my arm around her shoulders. "It's okay, honey. These things happen. All we have to do is pick up the pieces."
Kayla was really upset with herself, but realized that I wasn't mad at her, I wasn't scolding her, and it just needed to be cleaned up. The task seemed daunting, but Josh, Kayla, Holly, and myself all got on our hands and knees and began to find the scattered beads. We discovered interesting places the beads had flown, and creative ways to pick them up. Pretty soon, our bead-cleanup turned into a laugh-fest.
As we were working, I thought about how it was a beautiful illustration of our lives. Sometimes we are hasty in how we handle things, or make a wrong choice, or simply - accidents happen. And as our lives crash into millions of pieces on the hard ground, we wonder if we can ever put things back together again. How can we possibly go on? There's too many pieces to pick up by ourselves.
And yet - there's the Master - by our side, picking up piece by itty-bitty piece. Helping us to see that it's okay, we just have to clean up the mess and move on. Sometimes we cause our own messes, and sometimes they are caused by other people or outside circumstances. The pieces may take hours, days, months, or even years to pick up. There may be some cracks, chips, and dents. There may be some dirt, dust, and lint clinging to the pieces. But the mess can always be cleaned up.
So next time you drop your box of beads, or life seems to fall apart and shatter into a bazillion pieces - Take a deep breath. Pray about it. And start picking up the pieces. We have a wonderful Savior who is by our side, picking up pieces, wiping them clean, and gluing the cracked and broken ones back together. Don't give up. Keep going. Pick up the pieces.
And if you happen to spill thousands of beads onto the stairs? A pastry brush and paper plate work great.