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The Beauty of Brokenness

Broken glass. Chances are, you’ve had your share of broken glass accidents in your life. These days, with two toddlers running around, I feel like I've had more than my share. Recently, the kids, Jason and I were visiting our sweet cousin Laura who had invited us over for a cookie baking day. A Mom of four herself, she is always a gracious host to our crazy crew of toddlers and is always thinking of fun activities to include us in and help us get out of the house for the day.

As I’m sure you know, often a change of scenery is welcome and needed when you have little kids. Our visit was so nice; Laura’s kids Hudson and Suzy, both teenagers, were so sweet to help entertain the girls- obliging their requests to play hide and seek in the pantry and following them around so that they wouldn't get into too much trouble -giving Jason and I a chance to have adult conversation for a change.

Our middle child (enough said, am I right?), Joanna, is our wild one. She is a no-holds-barred kind of kid, always operating at 110% energy and has no shame in her game. Nothing is off limits and if she sets her mind to doing something, she is not easily deterred. Well, you probably can see where this is going. Joanna broke away from her supervisor and got her little hands on a porcelain angel figurine and smashed it on the floor. I winced and looked at Laura, my eyes already apologizing before I could get the words out. She laughed and graciously started to explain that the figurine wasn’t anything priceless or even that special to her and not to worry. As she was speaking, Joanna got another item off the shelf and smashed it on the floor; this one, a porcelain pitcher, completely shattered on the floor. Laura burst out laughing, a knowing laugh, a laugh that I recognized well as I started laughing too.

The humor of the ludicrous behavior of toddlers. Joanna wasn’t bothered in the least - I think she muttered an “uh oh” and then went on with her business, seeing what else she could find. The noise of the incident had drawn the others into the living room and the little Joanna tornado was once again under a watchful eye, much to her chagrin. Even after all of that, Laura offered to make us dinner! A saint, I tell you!

Joanna 💜
Laura’s graciousness and kindness spoke to my heart and reminded me that brokenness happens and it’s not the end of the world. I have heard of an ancient Japanese practice called “Kintsugi”, where broken pottery is repaired by using a lacquer that is mixed with gold, to actually show off the item’s history and not try to disguise or hide it’s brokenness. I love that idea. It is a picture and practice of grace. I’ve learned in my own life that those cracks of brokenness in me are being repaired daily by a gracious God. And he lovingly and expertly fills those cracks with gold too. See, our brokenness is a chance for him to shine and show his amazing grace in our lives. Even more, he speaks through those cracks to draw others into his loving arms so that he can repair them as well.

We all have our wounds and scars. Jesus said “In this world, you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” What an encouraging thought! Our troubles here are temporary and will not overcome us. One of my favorite writings of Paul is in 2nd Corinthians. He is talking about his personal problems (that’s right, Paul had personal problems too). He said, “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I call this the beauty of brokenness.

It brings me to this realization: when you are faced with your weaknesses and troubles, just remember that God is making you all the more beautiful, valuable and strong through those experiences by his power and grace.


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