Thursday, February 28, 2013

Broken or Unbroken

When my sister and I were young(er), we played a silly game with crackers. We would take a cracker--Wheat Thins or Club or Ritz, didn't matter as long as it had a bit of heft--hold it up for inspection and ask if the cracker had been broken and put back together to look whole or was still whole and unbroken.

Broken or Unbroken?

We delighted in trying to fool each other but in the end, the crackers were always broken in order to do their consumed.

I was thinking of that game after my son told me about a friend of his, how she likes broken people, how she is aware of her own brokenness. I know exactly what she means.

I do, too. I am, too.

That's why I befriend other parents of children with special needs. Anyone who has had to confront the ways that their life is imperfect or broken is a person I usually find relatable. I think that brokenness brings our essential humanity, our compassion and humility, a little closer to the surface. 

"...I am always perversely glad to hear that a friend has been knocked upside the head by some unpleasant event. I am not glad they've experienced pain, but I am profoundly grateful for the down-to-earth compassion that emerges only when people face their pain and absorb it into the fabric of their lives." Martha Beck

Funny thing about brokenness, though...I think we all need it. Left to our own devices, we would be strangely malformed in our seeming perfection. The breaking allows us to be reshaped into a more usable vessel, counterintuitive as that may seem. The pridefulness inherent in seeing ourselves as whole and unbroken is actually the thing that gets in the way of our usefulness to others, I believe. It serves as a glaze, bright and pretty, reflecting others' failures and shortcomings back at them. 

2 Corinthians 4:7-9--But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 

I like to imagine the jar of clay in this verse...beaten and battered on the inside, lovingly held together by God and now completely useful and willing to be used in His Hand, for His Purpose, reflecting His Glory and Love not via a beautiful unbroken glaze but a million times more brightly in the broken edges and pieces.

My friend, are you Broken or Unbroken? Are you trying to hide your brokenness? Have you forgotten that your treasure in is jars of clay, that you are intended to show God's power rather than your own? Have you considered that your brokenness could be a gift to others, to someone like me, to someone like you? Are you ready to do your job and be broken?


Rachel said...

This made me think of this song...which I LOVE. ;)

The Spicer Family said...

"All my favorite people are broken..."

I can see why you thought of that song, Rachel. :)

Thank you for sharing it with me; I was not familiar with it.

Love you, girl.


Sabrina said...

Beautiful post. I'm glad you've started writing again.