Bestowing Brokenness

The moon calls me to my chair, that, and the heavy heart I am carrying around these days.  It seems the world has lost its mind.  The blanket of despair doesn’t warm the soul, it suffocates it.  The depth of loss is immeasurable.  I am not even sure we know that it is loss that is keeping us awake at night.  Usually, some of us are going through grief, while others are moving along in positive ways.  Life has always been an individual journey that way. Ups and downs.  Ebbs and flows.  One is strong while another is weak, then the roles are reversed.  It is the way of things.

Now, however, we have corporate loss and shared sorrow.  The brokenness of the world is ours.  All of ours.  We feel it even when we can’t quite identify it.  This blanket of shadow might be the only thing we have in common with each other right now.  Being shut into our homes was only the beginning.  The shift of what was normal to this new place is staggering.  We have lost ordinary life and replaced it with insecurity.  So much so, that we don’t even realize our feet are stumbling on this unfamiliar road.  We are walking with a limp.  Add to this corporate heaviness any individual hardship, and it is overwhelming.  We feel fragile.  We feel our vulnerability.  We feel our loss of control. These things scare us because they are not going away.  They are intensifying. 

Things as we have always known them are crumbling around us.  The brokenness is palatable.  We are breathing it in.  It is on all the screens.  It is riding on the airwaves.  It is showing up everywhere.  We call it 2020, but that is simply our attempt to quantify it.  What is happening now isn’t going to magically disappear on Jan 1.  The foundation is cracked.  A seismic crevasse that has split and divided us and it cannot be repaired with a little spackle. It is too big for that.  It is bigger than a pandemic, or an election. It is an undoing of what has been done.  A dismantling.  A demolishing.  A breaking.

Being shattered to pieces seems a heavy load to bear.  But I want to submit to you that all this brokenness isn’t a burden, but a gift.  Hear me out.  Brokenness isn’t something we naturally seek out.  In fact, the opposite is true.  We avoid pain.  It is built into us to do so. We avoid it by lashing out.  We feel trapped and so we come out swinging.  We avoid it by pretending the pain isn’t real.  We avoid it by heaping it onto those around us. There are as many defense mechanisms as there are people.

No, brokenness isn’t something we seek, it has to be bestowed upon us.  To bestow means to present or confer a great honor.  Brokenness is presented to us to show us the truth of our condition.  We are weak and in need of assistance.  Our human strength can only carry us so far, after that we need supernatural help.  While this may seem contrary to our thought process, brokenness is actually a place of surrender.  Giving up our ways.  Opening our hands.  It is a place of humility.  It requires us to put down our pride and say we need each other and we need God.  What an honor to be able to see our need.

Never would you wish for this kind of fragmented life.  Yet, when it finds you through the circumstances around you, there is great growth possible.  There is depth born from the tears.  There is intimacy between the creator and the created.  Transformation happens.  Faith is cultivated not by performance, but by the cry of the heart. 

The comfort of Holy Spirit in the deep places is beyond words.  The communion of the spirit of God with our broken pieces brings restoration.  It is the secret place of brokenness which allows for safety from insecurity.  It is a harbor of healing.  Somehow, in the midst of confusion and uncertainty, God uses our brokenness for his purposes.  He bestows it upon us as an honor because he knows the result will be wholeness.  It’s just like him to use the brokenness of the world to make us whole.  He draws us to himself through difficulty. 

So, as the world spirals out of control, embrace the brokenness that loss brings.  Our broken ways lead to confusion and heartbreak.  His ways lead to healing, but before we can be healed, the infection has to be exposed.  Draw closer to the star-breathing God who wants nothing more than to expose the infection and treat it with the truth: We are worthy of his love only by his actions, not ours.  He bestows brokenness to heal our wounds. 

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