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Imagine yourself holding a hammer.

Now, strike your hammer against a big pane of tempered glass.

Watch the glass shatter into thousands of crystalline pieces, dropping all around your feet.

Hear the initial crash of their fall. Hear the gentle tinkling in the silence that follows, as bits of glass sink and settle.

* * *

Why would anybody ever hit glass with a hammer? you’re wondering.

Yet we do it all the time.

* * *

Maybe you don’t apply for that job you really want because you “probably” won’t get it.

Maybe you’re forever apologizing for not being “good enough.”

Maybe you constantly put yourself down or dismiss the value of what you do.

Maybe you feel like you’re “nothing” or “nobody” on your own.

Maybe you always defer to other people, because they’re wiser and better than you.

Maybe you believe that you deserve any abuse or misfortune you suffer.

Maybe you fear what other people would think if they only knew the “real you” . . .

* * *

You are the hammer. You are also the glass.

You are the one who strikes. You are also the one who is broken.

Sometimes, all it takes is a sneaky little tap for all your glass to come tumbling down.

* * *

To what fine purpose do we swing the hammer against ourselves? What kind of good life can we possibly make from piles of broken glass?

“Piles”—plural. Because after we’ve shattered ourselves once, we’re apt to do it again. And again . . .

Then, once we’ve gotten practiced at breaking our own glass, we’re apt to start swinging away at other people’s glass, too. That’s just the way it works.

Again, to what purpose? Is this the kind of world we long for—a world built from piles of brokenness?

* * *

You are the hammer. You are the glass.

You are the one who strikes. You are the one who can choose not to strike.

You are the one who is broken. You are the one who can choose, instead, to live in one piece.



Light shining through.

* * *

Sometimes, one unforgettable metaphor is enough to help us lay the hammer down.

(Is poetry in your toolbox?)


Photo by iMattSmart on Unsplash


Phyllis Cole-Dai

Phyllis Cole-Dai has authored or edited eleven books in multiple genres, including historical fiction, spiritual nonfiction and poetry. She lives in Brookings, South Dakota, USA.

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