Wednesday, January 20, 2016


Window Reflections, Chicago, IL
Shattered Window, Greensboro, NC


As I was leisurely driving home this morning a shattered, broken window caught my eye. It’s hard to say exactly how that happened. It may have been deliberate vandalism or there may have simply been some sort of an accident here recently. But the image resurrected an incident that had been stored away in my memory ever since my childhood back in central Kansas. Upon reflection, the memory was one of those infamous “teachable moments” that my father had fortunately seized upon to weave responsibility into the fabric of my life.

We were in the backyard of our home with the expanse of an alley separating our yard from our neighbors along with some privacy shrubs and a fence. As I vaguely recall, my dad was warming me up for a scheduled little league baseball game that evening. So he was pitching me some rather smoking fast balls to work on my developing strike out percentage. Needless to say, the neighbor’s property across the alley was in no real jeopardy.

Then the unthinkable happened. As my dad smoked another pitch destined to wiz past me, I actually made a good hand-eye coordinated swing and abruptly returned the baseball over his head and over the fence! The ball was probably the best hit of my life up to that juncture of my dubious baseball career and it promptly crashed through the neighbor’s back window on the first hop. I do believe my initial inclination upon hearing the shattering sound of breaking glass was to just get the heck out of there, while my dad just stood there in shocked amazement. Then he turned to me and calmly stated that we needed to walk over to the neighbors and confess. That seemed a bit too impetuous at the time, but he put his arm around my shoulder and we strode over and admitted our involvement. Then my dad offered to measure the windowpane and replace it for the neighbor. Our neighbor turned out to be quite understanding and the window was replaced in just a couple of hours.

That was a good lesson for a young boy who was faced with possibly his first “hit and run” felony charge and one of those priceless teachable moments growing up. You can never go wrong doing the right thing. That especially applies when something shatters your life and you need to step up to admit your role in a bad situation and work to fix it.

And God will work alongside us to bring good out of any bad situation. For example, our neighbor gave my baseball back to me.

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