how one brush equals six pots filled with miracles

Brushes are good for throwing. They fit right in your hand, perfect to squeeze in the angry moments. And you can close your bathroom door and just throw that brush against the tile as hard as you want to.

The brush might dent or break, but you won’t care so much about that in the moment. It’s just nice to throw something, to make a loud noise, to lose control for a bit of time. Assuming you ever had control in the first place.

Phones are good for throwing, too. Not iPhones – too expensive. But for those of us who still have landlines, those cordless phones are the best. I kicked that habit about six years ago when, in a fit of stubborn frustration, I threw the phone across the room. When I finally went to rescue it, two of the numbers were stuck pushed in. It was unfortunate if I ever needed a 5. Or a pound sign.

I don’t throw phones anymore.

In John 2, I read about the couple who invited Jesus to their wedding. His friends and his mama, too. I know the whole point of the story is the wine in the water pots, but I just can’t help imagining what sort of friend Jesus was to the bride and groom. Did he cry when they made their promises? Did he and the groom shake hands, exchange looks, embrace?

What did he think when he watched the bride?

Did he think of his church? Of you?

Of me? Was I holding a brush?

Yesterday was a brush-throwing kind of day. I don’t throw them at people so don’t go worrying for anyone’s safety. But sometimes slamming a brush into the sink is better than slamming my head into the wall. I’ve decided to call it a celebration for Lysa TerKeurst’s book release week. She wrote a book called Unglued and let’s just say I was.

Sometimes I forget freedom, the abundance of my gifts, the everyday graces, the beauty of acceptance. Sometimes I throw brushes, pout, worry over things seven miles outside my circle of perceived control.

I forget the six pots filled with dusty water, the ones that held nearly thirty gallons each. I forget the twinkle in Mary’s eyes when she told the servants, Do whatever he tells you. And the water filled up to the brim worked invisible miracles inside those stone pots. And the master of the banquet was impressed as  the rich wine graced his lips. He drank down the miracle, satisfied.

Imagine if he knew where it had come from.

It was Jesus’ first miracle. Only his mother and a handful of servants knew about it. It wasn’t life or death. It wasn’t world peace or starvation or anything dangerous at all. Running out of wine at a wedding was more of a brush-throwing kind of moment. But Jesus still saw the need and worked a secret miracle to meet it.

I am desperate for twinkling eyes, for thirty gallon water pots, for believing in things I can’t see, for cups filled with secret miracles.


  1. says

    I find throwing a sock ball is just a gratifying and far less destructive. 😉 All kidding aside, though, thank you for,this message. I particularly liked the part, “Sometimes I forget freedom, the abundance of my gifts, the everyday graces, the beauty of acceptance. ” That is so true, and by rectifying that is a path to happiness.

  2. says

    Ah, I’m desperate for those things right alongside you, friend.

    I’m thankful that when the Word says God is for us and not against us, that includes rescuing us from hairbrush throwing moments as well as the super serious stuff, too.

    And I can’t wait to read Lysa’s book! I thought its release day would never get here. :) Love you, Emily!

  3. says

    Oh, thank you, thank you for confessing your throwing tendencies. I thought I was alone in this. I broke a comb last time. That bathroom tile is not very forgiving. Thankfully, Jesus is.

  4. says

    Do you think my 10 year old might understand this? ‘Cause she’s into “brush throwing” lately and it’s not making me happy. I’m the one who needs to remember the grace of Jesus – especially when others are doing the hair appliance hurling.

    Sounds like I need to buy a new book, too. Thanks for the post.

  5. says

    My son broke his hard drive last week when he slammed his computer on the table. I accidentally washed his Ipod with a load of clothes . . .along with his head phones . . .for the second time. It has a cracked screen and you know what? It still works. He listened to music on our twenty hour drive home from vacation. We were both so guilt ridden over what we had done and God redeemed it. I’m desperate for the thirty gallon water pots and cups filled with secret miracles too. Thanks for this . . and every girl needs to throw her brush across a closed room from time to time. :)

  6. says

    “It’s just nice…to lose control for a bit of time. Assuming you ever had control in the first place” – isn’t it strange how quickly we fall into the trap of thinking we have ultimate control over the trajectories of our lives? Why do you think that happens so easily?

    “I know the whole point of the story is the wine in the water pots, but I just can’t help imagining what sort of friend Jesus was to the bride and groom” – sometimes, I wish the gospel writers could have been *way* more detailed about these sorts of scenes, too…some people write that off by saying that everything we need to know is already written in the Bible, and that may be true, but I kinda want to watch these stories like movie scenes, so I can learn from Him that way, too :)

    Imagine if we, too, could keep our hearts open…recognize the miracles He works in our lives to meet our needs…and drink them down, satisfied…

  7. says

    Shoes are good for throwing, too. I still have a black mark on the wall behind my bedroom door – back when my oldest was a tiny baby and wouldn’t stop crying for hours and days on end and I was eyeball deep in post-partum depression. Not a good time. I forgave myself for my loss of control (it was just a shoe, after all) and God forgave me, too.

    Thanks for being honest, Emily.

  8. says

    I’ve done my bit of throwing inanimate objects over the years. Isn’t it amazing…wine at a wedding, not life from death, not sight nor whole limbs or flesh made clean, but wine at a wedding. I always wonder what Jesus had done up to that time that caused his mama to know what he could do. Thank you for the reminders in this post. I will keep my eyes open – on the look out for those secret miracles.

  9. Lea says

    Do you know how relieved this post made me? So good to know other “good Christian women” throw inanimate objects when they’re upset without losing their salvation.

  10. says

    One of the frustrating things about cell phones is you can’t slam down the phone. The effect on the other end when you push disconnect is just not effective when you want them to hear the crash on your end. The exclamation point of disgust. Maybe instead of throwing a brush, you could just gently push “disconnect?” And be done with it. A good honest post. Here’s to a week of secret miracles for you!

  11. says

    Oh, yes. The cordless phone is just right for throwing. Not so right? Throwing it at your husband in a fit of rage. Fortunately, I have terrible aim and he has good reflexes. Also, he forgives, just like Jesus:)

  12. says

    I was frustrated one day while holding a casserole to serve to my family…casserole plopped hard on the table…casserole slid across table…casserole flew past table edge…casserole hit wall…I fled. Sometimes I need to flee, do some deep breathing, throw skyward a quick prayer of help…return and face the music. Ps. 103:14…For He knows our frame and remembers that we are dust. He is so patient with us. I can relate to your posts…they are so humanly honest and yet so grace accepting.

  13. says

    Thank you, Emily. I forget how beautiful that first miracle must have been. Thanks for taking the time to ponder it for all of us, recognizing that it was a real wedding with real people and a real Jesus and a real, secret miracle.

  14. says

    Thank you for this post. Love this: “I am desperate for twinkling eyes, for thirty gallon water pots, for believing in things I can’t see, for cups filled with secret miracles.” Thank you, Lord for being so patient with me!

  15. says

    This is so good. I just love it. And, it’s so good to know that someone else throws things when they are frustrated. I threw a sippy cup across the room one time and it hit the fridge. It made a dent in it. Every time I see that dent, I think about that day. I can’t even remember what I was frustrated about…..But, I reminds me of how far I’ve come since those stressful days of my husband being unemployed. When I feel like nothing has changed in our circumstances, I’m reminded that things HAVE changed when I see that dent. Maybe not as fast as I’d like, but they have. :)

  16. says

    one word- my sister use to throw phones, broke my favorite one (you remember the cool clear cased ones? YEP.)
    Thank you for posting this – I have had a brush throwing, not-believing-in-myself kind of week. Your works are a gentle reminder and encouragement.

  17. says

    I’m not sure if my favorite part of your message is the brush throwing or the amazing imagery of the wedding. I, myself, vacuum instead of throwing things. It helps to discharge that energy, and at least I get the floor done. Thank you for sharing.

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