The Theology of Spilled Milk

I promised myself that when I resurrected the blog, there would be no photographs. I mostly only take pictures of my kids anyway and I hate the idea of strangers looking at them on the internet. Also, blogging always makes me aspire to take beautiful photos of meals which is a real joke and means we eat all our food cold. Lastly, I am only a mediocre photographer on my very best day. So I promised myself I would spare you the photos.

This week, though, life has really tested my boundaries. Sometimes an image occurs that is so jaw-dropping, so striking, so shocking that even a pro writer like myself cannot capture it in mere words. Sometimes you just have to see it to understand.

This is how my day went today:

This is my thought process while I was putting away this week’s order of milk at my delightful retail business:

“You know Jamie, you’ve been stressed because it’s snowed all week. It’s January, Business is always going to be slow. Don’t give up hope. This is your third January, you should know the ropes by now. 2017 was your best year yet. 2018 will be better. Hang in there. Your milk order is here! The sun is shining! You are your own boss of a business you really enjoy! Why do you let it stress you out?!?”

I put away the last bottle and started to walk away, only to be stunned by the sound of many gallons of milk in glass jars tumbling out of the fridge and onto the floor, shattering in a million different directions.

A shelf had collapsed. If it weren’t for the shards of glass and pooling profit margin all over the floor, I would have also collapsed. I wanted to curl up in a ball and weep or puke or both.

To be clear, it wasn’t that much in dollars lost in the grand scheme of all the many creative ways I have found to lose money while operating a business. It was the principle of the matter. It felt so dramatic, it felt like the universe giving me an omen at the exact moment I am trying to give myself a pep talk. “Jamie, are you a moron?!” It said. “You are SO not cut out for this. Also, you need a new mop.”

I was raised in a very religious household and in some (okay, many) ways I fear it has made me superstitious as an adult. While I still value personal faith, I am very confused by some of the messaging I received as a child and young adult. When something bad happens, is it because I am on the wrong path and being punished for it/encouraged to go another way? Or is it because I am on the right path and some dark force is trying to deter me from forging ahead? Or is it simply that the shelf could not withstand the weight of the milk that I put upon it?

I wish I could say this was hyperbole, but it really isn’t. It is all compounded by the fact that I have had very specific, almost incredible experiences in my life that point me to the idea that we are all interconnected and there is some higher purpose to our existence on this planet, so I can never look at things from a strictly scientific standpoint. Some experiences in my life have simply defied logic.

But then sometimes I suppose there is just spilled milk…. I just don’t know how to tell the difference.



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