Damaged Goods

ME: “I’m in a funk.”


TONY: “Why? What’s going on?”


ME: “blahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahblahb….etc…..blah….whinewhinewhinewhine…blah”


TONY: “Ok. Do you feel better?”


ME: “No. But I went to work out yesterday, when I just wanted to go home and eat chips and ice cream and chocolate. I worked out instead.”


TONY: “Ok. That’s good.”


ME: “And then I came home and had nachos for dinner. And then David asked for a milkshake and so I made him one, and I figured since I had the blender out, might as well make two at one time.”


TONY: “So you had a milkshake, too?”


ME: “Uh…yes.”


TONY: “Why would you eat chips and a milkshake after you went to work out?”


ME:  “WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH”


TONY: “Are you still in a funk?”


ME:  “Yes.”


TONY: “I think you are CHOOSING to be in a funk.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And then I stabbed him.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

No, not really. But I am in a funky place. Circumstances, questions, brain chemistry. I don’t know. It is what it is. I had a tough day yesterday, one that included backing my car into a work truck in the church parking lot. No damage – at all – to the other guy, but a broken tail light and lovely scrape on my car.

I’ve been driving this car – an Audi, the nicest car I’ve ever had – for several years, since it was given to me as a gift (gentlemen, giving the girl a car with a big bow on it really works.) The second week I had it, I scraped the rear fender against a tree while trying to back out of someone’s driveway. It was devastating; I hated to tell my husband. But I did, and he forgave me.

A few months ago, I scraped the other side of the rear fender while backing out of a driveway at a retreat house.

Last night, I backed into the afore-mentioned work truck.

Obviously, I have a backing problem. And it’s a solo thing; I’ve not had any issues with other moving vehicles. Mostly, I just seem to bump into things. Trees, retaining walls, and yesterday, some sort of winch-thing that was attached to this work truck’s rear bumper.

I bump into things, and the result is scratches and dents on this beautiful car, which was immaculate when given to me.


I should have been more careful, in every case. This car is the nicest thing I’ve ever owned. I’m mostly a cheap girl – I’ll shop at Target before Macy’s. Nordstroms? Ha. Never. (Okay, there was that one time, but that was underwear. And a long story.) I don’t own nice things, really; mostly, it’s stuff on sale from somewhere or something somebody gave me.

I have nice people in my life, and often they give me nice things; but I just don’t have that much quality stuff. 


And yesterday, I thought to myself, “Well, duh. You can’t take care of nice stuff. You keep running into things.”

Then I got this wonderful text message: “…I love you way more than any car on the planet.”

That’s nice. And I know it’s true.

But I find it depressing. I’m not sure why.

I suspect it has something to do with my pride. That’s an ugly truth, but there it is. I can tool around town in my fancy car and imagine that I’m special. The outside hides whatever might be going on inside, because it’s a pretty German car. Now, with various scrapes and dings and dents, the truth is leaking out; the car (like the driver) is just another messy thing, scraped and dinged and dented.

I put a lot of value on that beautiful car; it represented a gift, one that was above and beyond anything I’d ever been given. That car said (to me), “YOU ARE WORTH THIS.”

And now it’s killing me that I keep damaging it.

And it’s messing with my soul that I think I’ve gotten way too attached to what I imagine that car said about me, in its perfect state.

Because if it used to say, “YOU ARE WORTH THIS” while in mint condition….what does it say now, when it’s damaged goods?

Not sure I want to go there.

This spiritual formation stuff goes on and on and on…I know that I know that I know that I find my identity in other things, in the One who made me, in all the good things in my life. But there’s always a place to slip, always a reminder that I’m not yet out of the woods, not yet fully enlightened, not yet what I am to be. And there’s always some remnant of that ‘stinking thinking’ that my counselor called out several years ago. I think I’ve outgrown it, matured, moved along, and then BAM, there we go again.


And that, my friends, is life. 

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