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When It’s More Than A Screen That’s Shattered

When It’s More Than A Screen That’s Shattered

medium_4634227934There’s just something about a boy sobbing.

He sat there, tears pouring–pouring–out of his eyes. Ten years old. Inconsolable. Broken. I touched his shoulder. Asked him for his eyes.

The long and short of it was something was broken all right. His mom lent him her brand-new iPod Touch. His friend accidentally dropped it. Shattered. And at Vacation Bible School–it shouldn’t have been there in the first place.

But never mind that. Broken is broken.

His sobbing didn’t stop all day.

My heart ached for that boy. All day, I prayed grace over his mama. Prayed that her reaction would even surprise herself. I prayed peace over the situation because from my angle those looked like fear tears. My heart ached a little more.

Throughout the day I looked for this boy, in the midst of a crowd easy enough to hide in, and I found his eyes. I told him I was praying for him and his mom. The words got choked after that. I couldn’t seem to tell him how I hated this situation for him and if I had an iPod in my hands, I would gladly hand it over in exchange for the shattered mess in his pocket.

The man who ministers to this boy, a man whose family lives as the hands and feet of Christ, day in and day out in his apartment complex, muttered words into his ear. Arm around this little man, he assured him that everything would be ok. I feared it wouldn’t. So did the boy.

The day sped by and I watched his head hang low as they walked in a group out to their bus. I thought and prayed for that boy all night. I had no idea if he would even be allowed to return the next day.

As kids started making their way down the aisles the next morning, I craned my neck to look for him. And there he was. But with a new face on, one that was actually smiling.

I called out his name. He turned, surprised that I not only knew his eyes but his name as well.

How’d it go? How are you?

Fine. (The smile told a different story.)

I threw up a thank you prayer, a sigh of relief and my heart felt lighter.

I was finally able to ask the man a few hours later how the whole thing turned out. How did the mother react?

The man, who lives with and loves these kids and their families, told me how he had been concerned. He knew how the boy had suffered all day. So he and another man from church had taken the shattered item and gotten the screen replaced–all before the boy stepped foot over his threshold.

The tears stung my eyes as I listened to his voice. I was thankful for my sunglasses that blocked my face from the man who simply viewed his actions as what anyone would’ve done when you care for another and know their story.

You did that? I whispered. You did that.

Plain and simple, the man took care of it like Jesus. When it comes down to it, we are all accountable for our shattered messes but you know what? Jesus stepped in and took care of them in a way that takes your breath away if you really, truly think about it. Fixing what we cannot fix ourselves.

The man standing before me knew this kid’s story. And he loved him where he was, shattered mess and all. He spoke with the mother, told her what happened. Explained how the child had been so upset. Then the boy looked at his mom and invited her to the last day of VBS to hear songs and meet friends. He was bringing his mom to church.

It all took my breath away.

A broken iPod? Not the best memory of the week by far. But oh, my. The repaired 10 year old heart?

That memory. Definitely a keeper.








  1. Margaret Phillips says:

    so many little miracles that happen all around us…people showing God’s love to other people..that overflowing love that points people to God. Great writing Katie…

  2. What a beautiful story and a great reminder to be the hands and feet of Jesus no matter where we are or what we are doing.

  3. So beautiful!

  4. Beautiful, beautiful story, thanks for telling it. And thanks for reminding me that Jesus just takes the mess and fixes it. I think in our effort to raise great kids we tend to want them to fix their own messes, and I suppose sometimes that’s appropriate. But the only mess that really matters is one we can’t fix. And Jesus took it all away. Praise God.

    • Thank you, Beth! And I agree-we often want our kids to fix their own messes. The beauty of what happened is that this man knew this kid’s story and met him where he was. An awesome example, in my opinion!

  5. Misty-eyed reading this. What an example of being the hands and feet of Jesus to that boy and his Mama.

  6. This is a wonderfully beautiful story – and you are so right – just like Jesus!

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