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Broken Beauty

Linda Roorda

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Ever feel as though you’re broken and scattered… like pieces of shattered glass?  You’re so overwhelmed by life, torn apart by one situation after another, perhaps in rapid succession.  And you begin to feel like you want to run away from all the stress and responsibility.  I have… and know I’m not alone.

We all get hit hard by life at times, like the disruptive past few years midst the coronavirus pandemic.  We all stumble and fall.  We’re all broken… broken by our mistakes, sins, fears, unending pain, ongoing chronic illness, loss of a loved one, financial stress, or simply by the weight of life’s never-ending demands.  But are we willing to admit we’re broken people?  Do we think we’ve got it so together that we would never admit a failing? Do we lash out at others around us out of anger, hurt and resentment? Do we perhaps look down on those who might stumble in a moment of weakness?  Or do we humbly apologize and ask forgiveness from those we might have offended?

The damage from any trauma or abuse can be devastating, leaving us feeling raw and exposed, torn apart.  Just the simplest things can take a toll when we’re overwhelmed by stress without relief.  Long-term illness or disability can have the same effect.  We keep hoping that one day… somehow… things will get better… but they don’t seem to.

Reminds me of what it might be like sitting in a boat in the middle of a lake without oars, rudder or motor when the storm hits.  We won’t get very far.  In fact, the storm will toss us about unceasingly or capsize us without that rudder to steer and stabilize the boat, or the oars to row our boat to shore.  And it’s so true that life’s challenges can blindside us when we least expect them and catch us totally unprepared, leaving us feeling like we’re unable to handle what comes our way.  Certainly, we don’t feel like our brokenness is beautiful!

God never promised us a life without problems and pain.  But He did promise He’d give us what we ask for when we ask in His will, and that He will always be with us.  We just need to ask and trust Him as He “works all things for the good of those who love Him…” (Romans 8:28)  He intends our journey of difficulty to strengthen our faith.  For James 1:2-3 reminds us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance…” Yet that trial, or broken road, can sure seem long and tedious, and not something we readily rejoice in!

Still, as we draw closer to our Lord in the difficulties, we realize He’s been drawing us close to Himself.  He’s at work putting our broken pieces back together to make us complete… to restore us.  How often haven’t we felt His love surround us when the path is hard and long, and we seemed so alone?  Haven’t we looked back to see He’s carried us at times when we’ve done all we could and felt as though we couldn’t take one more step? And isn’t He the one who sent someone to wrap their arms around us, with an ear to listen to our heart, words to heal, and arms to hold us up and help us stand… until we felt stronger and able to function again?  Just like Paul wrote, “I can do everything through him who gives me strength.”  (Philippians 4:13)

Recently I read about the Japanese artform of Kintsugi (golden joinery), or Kintsukuroi (golden repair) https://www.britannica.com/art/kintsugi-ceramics .  These are terms for a special type of repair to broken pottery which began in about the 15th century.  Artisans take gold, silver or platinum dust, mix it with a special lacquer or resin, and apply it to the broken pieces.  As they fit the broken pieces together, the shattered pottery is made whole again.  Typically, the broken vessel becomes even more beautiful in its new state of repair – broken beauty, in other words!

No matter what we go through, God will bring comfort and peace to our heart when we look to Him for strength to face each trial.  He has it all under control, and even has a reason for taking us through the storms, allowing us to grow and heal through the difficult journey.  He welcomes us as broken people, and makes something beautiful from our shattered pieces of life! 

Then comes the day when we realize we’re healed… maybe not exactly as we’d wanted… but the pain no longer has a grip on us… for our brokenness has been used to heal a weakness!  The difficult journey was worth every step from brokenness to a new wholeness … because it has given us a better understanding of life with a greater empathy for others, with peace like a comforting blanket… enabling us to come alongside someone else who is struggling and overwhelmed as we “encourage the disheartened [and] help the weak...” (I Thessalonians 5:14)  For we know that God has used our trial in such a way that we now shine a light from within that we never knew we had… as we’ve gone from broken to beautiful in God’s restorative eyes! 

Broken Beauty

Linda A. Roorda

~

Sometimes…

Like a beautiful vase

Our life is shattered

Like so many shards

Of broken glass

Where once there was

A vessel whole, unbroken.

~

Because…

Trials of life

Came crashing down

To take their toll

Inflicting damage

Leaving emotions raw

Trying to destroy

The joy from within.

~

But…

There comes a day

When it’s time

To pick up the pieces

And one by one

To then reclaim

The former beauty

Of the vessel treasured.

~

So…

An effort ensues

To fit the pieces

Back together

In such a way

That there will shine

Illuminating brilliance

Never before seen.

~

For…

An inner strength

Has taken hold

So that the pieces

Broken and scattered

In coming together

Now give the vessel

A broken beauty!

~~

02/05/14

 

 

 

 



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