My house has a crack. Just over the doorframe, creeping to the
ceiling. It catches my eye every time I sit on my couch in my living
rom. My house isn’t that old, so when I asked how this happened, the
answer was, “collateral damage.”
Collateral damage is defined as damage to things that are incidental
to the intended target. Who knew that the sunny rays outside could
fracture the wall of my nicely air conditioned home? But it happened.
Last year we had one of the hottest summers on record and the parched
ground around the foundation strained the frame, which put pressure on
the walls, and eventually a crack appeared.
Collateral damage can also take place within our family when we’ve
been hurt by something or someone else, no matter how long ago.
Because a parent made you feel unworthy of love, you lash out when your child doesn’t eat the meal you lovingly prepared.
Because your trust was shattered by another, your loyal husband pays
the price as his faithfulness is questioned again and again.
Because of negative words poured over your tender heart, you struggle to believe your value to God.
Collateral damage. All of it.
Years ago I struggled with collateral damage. Because of my own past
hurts, sometimes I lashed out, or withdrew from a loved one. Sometimes I
worked way too hard to be accepted by a God who loved me right where I
promises God can fix these broken parts. As He began to heal my heart,
He showed me the cracks weren’t the source of the problem. My behavior,
my inadequacies, even my struggle to feel grace … these were
The foundational issue was there from the time when a little girl
tried hard to stay out of trouble, to make peace, and yet nothing I did
worked. So I learned how to hide, how to defend myself, and a few other
unhealthy behaviors along the way. Do you relate?
By taking my eyes off the cracks and opening my heart to God, the
original source of damage was in plain sight … where it could be
addressed and healed. The more I soaked those wounds in God’s truth, the
more I began to recognize the cracks and see them in an entirely
different Light. The more He healed me.
The fact that your trust was shattered by another just makes the gift of a loyal husband/wife that much more sweet.
The fact that negative words were poured over your tender heart means
the thousands of words etched in Scripture are that much more powerful
because they redefine you, as seen and loved by your Heavenly Father.
The crack in my living room is slated to be fixed. And next summer
I’ll be sure to water my foundation in the fierce heat. But as for me,
my heart is bound and secure, and that foundation has become a source of
collateral gifts in my marriage, with my children and grandbabies, and
in my relationship with my God.
Dear Jesus, before today I pointed out the cracks, those
superficial acts and behaviors that I’ve tried to patch over. But today I
hold up my heart. You see the foundation of my brokenness. Thank You
for binding up my wounds, for healing, and for my new journey to
wholeness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
If you take your eyes off the cracks, what do you see?
Invite God into those broken places. He’s been waiting to fix the foundation of your heart for a long time.
Proverbs 4:20-22, “My son, be attentive to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not escape from your sight; keep them within your heart. For they are life to those who find them, and healing to all their flesh.” (ESV)