By LIBBO CROSSWHITE
Jesus, J. Crew and a broken vase
I recently ran across this story I had written almost five years ago, and although times have certainly changed since then, many core truths remain.
We all long for peace in this broken world. Peace for our kids (the Crosswhite home is currently in the “If it’s not dangerous or destructive, please don’t tattle” stage of parenting), peace for our world, for our homes and for our relationships. Ultimately, our source of peace can’t be found anywhere on this side of heaven. It’s why this season of Easter is literally soul-changing for our weary world. What is broken on Earth is made whole in heaven through Christ Jesus’ death on the cross.
Back in the day — the phrase moms use when speaking of the time before they had children, and time that was actually owned by us — I worked at J. Crew during my college breaks and my first few years of teaching, in order to support my shopping addiction habit. I loved every minute. I developed a love for all things gingham and tailored, and still find myself wandering in there every once in a while.
One afternoon (not “back in the day”), I was feeling extra brave and had both kids with me in the store. We had almost survived the entire trip with no tears or major scenes when I turned for two seconds to scan the impressive sale rack — only to hear a giant crash that sent shockwaves through the store. I could feel all eyes on me, and then down on the floor, where a beautiful, heavy glass vase full of headbands and dainty things had shattered into a million pieces. Broken. Everywhere.
When I turned to my two criminals, Mary was silent and pointing at Russell, and Russell knew enough to utter one word that might help his case. “No,” he said as part declarative, part interrogative, as if he was trying to remind me this is a teachable moment. The staff was gracious and helpful, but I was horrified.
Needless to say, I purchased two pairs of pants as a peace offering. Glass was everywhere, and it wasn’t going to be easy to clean up the mess we’d made. My brokenness was literally there for everyone to see.
The image of that broken vase is exactly why I am so reliant on, grateful for, and in total awe of the death and resurrection of Jesus.
Easter is the foundation of our refuge from the world’s brokenness and our own. Easter Sunday is my motherhood. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, I know I don’t have to rest on my own ability or goodness (can I get a GIANT HALLELUJAH!). My guilt, iniquities, doubts and sin all died on the cross with Jesus.
We hear all the time that Jesus died for “us” — a slightly impersonal, general pronoun. But Jesus’ death was so much more — He died for our sin and shame. Jesus died for our shattered glass vases and the things we carry with us inside and hope no one ever sees. The best news? He resurrected to defeat that same sin and shame that can sometimes try to make a comfy little home in our hearts if we aren’t careful.
What I have to remind myself is that not only am I saved, but I am VICTORIOUS because of what Jesus did for me. Whew, tears fill my eyes as I write this. I am forgiven and enough because Jesus was, is, and will always be enough. My Jesus has already won my motherhood. I am off the hook — no longer only relying on my own strength.
I love Jesus’ first words to His disciples after His resurrection. John 20:19 begins to paint the picture of the moment Jesus reveals that He has defeated death. When it’s just Jesus and His disciples, He says, “Peace be with you,” and then proceeds to show them His nail-torn hands and side — a reminder of what Jesus had been through just days before on their behalf. On our behalf. What did the disciples do? They rejoiced. Oh, did they rejoice.
So won’t you rejoice with me this Easter Sunday? Jesus is alive. Our debt has been paid, our battle has been won, our vase has been recreated whole and unbroken, for we have been made whole in the name, the nail-torn hands, the blood and the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Libbo Haskins Crosswhite and her husband, Clay, live in Madison and attend Pinelake. They have one daughter, Mary Thomas, who is 7 years old, and a son, Russell, who is 5 years old. She is the high school guidance counselor at Madison-Ridgeland Academy and can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.