Learning to Dance in the Tough Times

It’s a privilege once again to be blogging for Karen, at http://www.karensthreadsofhope.blogspot.com/  The following is going to be on her site as well as on mine.  Enjoy!

As I read Karen’s blog on Friday, Feb 19th, where she poured out her heart about emotionally letting go – symbolized by breaking dishes, I really related to what she was saying.  In fact, I’d like to recapture a part of that before I go on…

From Karen’s thread last Friday…

Trying to stand up, I grabbed the top of the island, which a bowl was sitting near the edge..

The bowl shattered into a few major pieces as it hit the floor - and that, my friends, became the catalyst to other dishes dropping on the floor as cascades of tears, and anger and disappointment, and photographic memories of my past started surfacing. Each broken dish or cup or bowl symbolized wounds that I had held inside for far to long...But the Lord knew it was time , my time to let them go... as the Lord kept whispering to my soul with loud, booming thoughts of what is best for me .. " Yes, Lord, I finally hear ya
! "
Oh how I can relate to that!  In fact, after Anna died, I really wanted to go to shops where you can paint ceramics and see if they had any rejects I could have.  My plan was to buy up all the greenware rejects that no one wanted and then take them home and one by one throw them as hard as I could against a tree.  I just LOVED that idea…but never followed thriough on it.  (Though even now, I bet someone could make good money on a idea like that.  Woudn’t it be fun to have a place where the only intent is to harmlessly destroy something worthless, just to get it out of your system?  Ooh..what about getting to smash hammer on an old pc, or an old car motor? Yeah!  Just beat the tar out of a keyboar…uh…I’m getting carried away, aren’t I?)

Anyway, there’s something SYMBOLIC about being able to just get out those kinds of feelings that honestly, words CANNOT contain.  There are just some emotions too powerful for words.
As I tried to picture Karen crying and smashing dishes, I suddenly had another picture in my head.  One where smashing dishes weren’t a picture of anger and sadness, but of joy and plenty.  You know what I’m thinking?  Do you know a group of people who actually have a tradition of smashing dishes?  The ones I think about are the Greek people.

LOL, in the movie,  “The Wedding Planner”, the wedding planner’s assistant is trying to get folks to STOPS breaking dishes.

“Stop doing that!  That costs money and we' didn’t get permission”, she’d try to dissuade them.  “Ohh-paa!” they’d reply with a laugh, and then they’d smash more plates.)  But the wedding planner tells her not to worry about it, cause she just got a big gig that she’s been dying to do. “Really??” the assistant squeals.  She jumps up and down so hard against a waiter that ALL the dishes break.  She looks down momentarily in embarrassment and then throws back her hands and exclaims, “Ohh-paaa!!!”  
Makes me laugh.  :D

And with that thought in my head, I’d thought I could see if I could show karen a light-hearted approach to looking at smashing dishes.  And this is what I found.  From: http://gogreece.about.com/cs/folkloreevents/a/smashingplates_2.htm
Break my heart, I'll break your plate
“One Greek singer I know occasionally breaks plates against his head while he sings a song of the pains of love. He enhances the rhythm of the piece with the smash of the plates and, in character for the song, tries to ease the pains of romantic love by countering them with physical pain.
Usually, breaking plates in praise of a musician or dancer is considered a part of "kefi" - the irrepressible expression of emotion and joy.

A plate might also be broken when two lovers parted, so that they would be able to recognize each other by matching the two halves even if many years passed before they met again. Small split versions of the mysterious Phaistos disk are used by modern Greek jewelers this way, with one half kept and worn by each of the couple."
Well, what do you know.  Using two halves of a plate to make a whole.  Hmm…when I saw that last part about the Phasitos, I was reminded of something similar that my high-school sweetheart and I use to wear. It’s called a Mizpah Coin Necklace.  It’s two halves of a coin that has a scripture from Genesis 31:49 on it that says, "May the LORD watch between you and me when we are absent from one another."  I wonder if the Greeks got the idea of the Phasitos from the Hebrews Mizpah or if it was the other way around?  (Your history lesson study question for the day.  ;) ) 

Here’s a picture of one…
Anyway, it got me thinking about the story of my own little Mizpah and how Brent & I came to wear them when we were in high school.  When we bought them, we had our names engraved on the back of each half, and of course, we each wore each other’s name.  (“Awww…” you must be thinking. Thank you. I feel the love.)

We wore these for quite a while…until one fateful day, when Brent returned home from his senior trip without his necklace on. 

Queue suspenseful music here: Duhn..duhn…duhhhhhhhnnnn!!

He sheepishly told me that he LOST his half of the Mizpah on the beach in Pensacola FL.  I was soooooooo upset.  I could of broke a dozen plates!!

But I didn’t.

I thought about it after he left.

And then I drove to our local lake.

And threw my half of the Mizpah in the lake.


(Well, that’s what you do when your seventeen and hormonal and angry. )

This upset Brent to no end.  “Why would you throw yours in the lake?!” he demanded."

“Well, maybe the fish from the lake will find another fish in the sea that found your half of the Mizpah and they can be together.” I pouted in reply.

“Ok, Holly.  First of all, a fresh water fish and a salt water fish couldn’t be togeth…never mind.  Why am I going through this with you?  What’s wrong with you??”

Well…it was not a happy conversation.  While we literally did not break up over it, we ended up having a deeper talk about what commitment really means and we’re we ready for something like that anyway?  We’re we making way to big a deal about something when we were so young?

And that question was answered a little over a year later by Brent giving me a different Mizpah in the form of an engagement ring.  I guess he figured, I wouldn’t be so quick to throw that puppy in the lake the next time I got mad at him. ;)

Over the 22 years that Brent and I have been together, we’ve broken many things in our relationship to each other. Whether it be in the form of a broken promise or a broken heart, he and I have done things to each other in the heat of a moment, that seemed important at the time, but was as stupid as tossing something meaningful away.

Yet, God is faithful in all things, including our relationship. No matter how deeply our hearts get broken, God’s always there, faithful to heal us, restore us and set us on the right path again. 

God can and will use brokenness, but what is awesome is that God doesn’t leave us in our brokenness.  He DOES restore.   Truly, “what God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Mark 10:9)  But rest assured, that even what we think is truly broken and irreparable can even be restored back to us.  I am living proof of that. 

So the next time you’re tempted to find some green-ware, or pottery to toss at a wall or a tree, remember one thing.  God can take even what is broken shattered and transform it into a beautiful mosaic of His love and complete grace.  Look at this stained glass.  It is many pieces of broken glass fixed in such a way that all you see is Jesus.  You don't see brokeness - you see a work of art. 

Here’s hoping that your plate smashing days find you in happier circumstances, like a wedding…(where you throw flowers, coins, rice and candy at the couple as a blessing)… 
…or for when you find yourself off the coast of Greece at a restaurant where waiters have a propensity for trying to catch themselves on fire as they dance for your pleasure…
Just remember…if you’re gonna throw your plate at the dancing wait staff, be sure to TIP WELL.





(Now, isn’t that better than throwing something in the lake?)


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Feel free to comment, and God bless you! ~ Holly

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