“Most people decide it’s easier to back out of a relationship than to mend them. But broken relationships leave a poisonous trail behind them.” John Haggai
As we were leaving for our New Year’s Eve destination my sticky-sauced, grease-infused Oriental Chicken Wing dish got jostled, consequently sloshing all over our vehicle, the drive way, and most disappointingly, on my favorite winter coat. Ughhhhh…it was such a horrible, sticky mess! My coat was covered from the waist down and once I got back in the house I couldn’t get it off fast enough to get it away from me. Underneath I discovered my shoes, pants and shirt also got splattered. This was not part of my plan, so to get things back on track as soon as possible, I immediately threw it all in the washer, put on new clothes, new jacket, salvaged the chicken wings, and went on our way leaving the mess behind for the washer to handle.
In the morning I pulled my coat out of the dryer and discovered a generous splattering of grease stains on my favorite coat. “It’s ruined; I can’t wear that!” came my frustrated reply and I threw it on the table, where it sat for an hour or so. Periodically I would glance at it as I walked past it going from one room to the next. Other times I purposely avoided looking at it in an effort to ignore having to deal with it. When reason and maturity began to return to me, I pulled the coat toward me to access the damage and determine what I should do.
I could just throw it away, get another one and be done with it. I don’t want to wear something stained, what would people think? Or, instead of throwing it away, I guess I could donate it to someone who can’t afford a warm coat as they may not be as concerned about stains. But then again, what kind of snob am I for thinking it’s okay for someone else to wear stains and not me. Well, the coat still has value; it’s warm, it fits and even though it’s stained, it’s clean! January 1 is the start of our new budget and it would be hard to justify spending money on something for purely prideful reasons. I guess it wouldn’t hurt to try washing it again…what’s the worse that could happen, get more stains?
As my coat was tumbling in another wash cycle , I had time to reflect on how quick I was to consider just throwing away something that was such a favorite of mine, because it bore stains from a very messy incident. Our society is so quick to discard the messy, replace the broken, dispose of the unwanted or used, and avoid the uncomfortable. Although this is done so frequently with material things, it’s becoming far too common place when involving people, and it has far-reaching effects. Marriages end, family members are estranged, friendships dissolve, congregations split, neighbors feud, and hearts are left to hurt. The consequences of a throw away society are far more corrosive than we can possibly imagine.
With my Chicken Wing kerfuffle behind me, and about 3 more months of winter in front of me, I’m resolved to wear my coat, regardless of how things ‘wash out in the end’. I’d rather have it with stains than not have it.