The Windshield and Love for a Child



As I was driving through an industrial section of town, a few days ago, I happened to notice a windshield repair company sitting next to, of all things, a child care.

Thinking the site a little odd, I gave a moment of thought to the meaning of both.

I thought of the reasons for there to be a windshield repair establishment in this part of town.  With the industrial nature of the area, it is not uncommon for sand and relatively large gravel to coat the street, more than likely having fallen from large dump trucks conveying sand and gravel from nearby pits for use in manufacturing facilities in the area.

These grains of sand and gravel can be picked up by tires of passing vehicles and rocketed into the windshield of other vehicles.  Each grain of sand striking the glass on oncoming vehicles digs into the smooth surface gouging a very small, almost imperceptible, piece of glass.  Each strike rendering damage that is almost impossible to repair.

With each successive grain of sand, another crater is created, moment by moment, day upon day, the onslaught continues as the drivers pass by unaware of the damage being done.  Slowly the accumulation of gouges and craters take away a portion of the smooth, transparent surface of the windshield, until there are more damaged areas than not.

The final recourse is to replace the windshield altogether and discard the damaged one.  The only way to avoid repeated damage to the new windshield is to take another path to work.

The child care, not unlike the glass repair establishment, takes in children in varying stages of injury.  Some are injured by well meaning parents who, in an effort to control or guide their children, use harsh words or cutting criticism that tear away small pieces of the shining new surface of an innocent child’s heart.  In most cases parents don’t intend harm.  They are running late for work, or the traffic is heavy, they are working in a high stress situation and the child is not cooperative.  Sometimes they are just trying to help the child avoid the same mistakes they have made themselves.  Perhaps their child will be more successful than they are.

What ever the reason, moment by moment, day upon day, the onslaught continues, as parents go about their lives unaware of the subtle damage their words are doing.  Each word, however intended, creating gouges and craters in the pure shining heart of a child, created by God, and given everything necessary to be successful in life.  Slowly this accumulation of gouges and craters tears away enough of the heart of the child that they slip into something they were not created to be.

There is no way to remove the old, damaged heart of a child and replace it with a new one.  Every attempt to do so will, in fact, drive the child further from who they are and into someone they are not.

Fortunately the child, unlike the windshield, can be repaired.  As parents we must pay close attention to the words we use and the actions we take.  We must audit our intentions and assure they are driven by love and not some other reason.

We are told in Proverbs “Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones”. (Proverbs 16:24)

Nothing is truer; we can control the words we speak.  If we understand the impact of what we say, we can make a difference in the lives of our children.

Like a shiny new windshield, we hold, in our children, a certain amount of satisfaction.  Knowing we can safely see what the future brings.

Keep them clean and mind the roads you direct them down and your words of love will heal their broken and pitted hearts.

En servicio como padre



2 Responses to “The Windshield and Love for a Child”

  1. 1 Brett July 7, 2009 at 3:32 PM

    You have hit an emotional part of my heart. Children are looking for someone to care for them. They have no way to defend themselves. They look to their parent’s to be their heros.

    I can think of many times when I have been in a hurry and used a stronger tone of voice than I should. Not abusive, but telling them to hurry up in a tone that is louder than I should be using.

    Thank you for your reminder. I know I am taking it to heart and will be reminded the next time I am trying to get us out the door in a hurry.


    • 2 David July 7, 2009 at 8:11 PM

      Thank you for your comments. It is hard for us to know when we are stepping over the line. Most of the time we are not abusive but each harsh word digs a little at the soul. I don’t mean to suggest we should be overly soft on our children either. It is just, our society is getting less soul sensitive and more material.

      God bless you, a father’s job is a difficult one.



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