Sometimes God takes a heart and rips it, takes a carefully held-dream and dashes it, takes a good desire and withholds it. And, oh, how it hurts. Not a paper-cut kind of hurt, but the raw, aching, lump-in-the throat, sting-in-the-eyes, gnawing-emptiness kind of pain. It feels like death… because often it is: death to self, death to our way, death to a good that wasn’t the best.
And in our brokenness, we feel so unlovely, so forgotten, forlorn and useless.
You see, dear One, He never rips us without restoring us, He never dashes a dream without dreaming a better one, He never takes away a good desire without giving us something infinitely richer.
And He promises that our brokenness will not be in vain.
But that if we look to Him and find comfort in Him through it, that He will use our broken pieces to feed the hungry-hurting. Like Eucharist bread, He holds us up to the Father and blesses us even as He breaks us. In our brokenness we are blessed. In our brokenness we become nourishment for the hungry soul, we become the word someone was longing to hear, we become a vision of broken beauty.
This Valentine’s Day I’m praising God for the way He has broken my heart that my heart might break for others.
(A poem by Catherine Claire Larson in the spirit of Gerard Manley Hopkins’ Pied Beauty)
Glory be to God for broken things—
For long-held dreams shattered, deferred and disappointed,
For selfish pride brought low, exposed and humiliated;
Closed-fisted plans torn from white-knuckled hands,
Self-spun futures crumpled and trampled underfoot,
And all shattered vanity, sufficiency, and entitlement.
All things good, lovely, and over-loved,
Whatever competes for the One true love.
With calm, kind, hands He breaks us like Eucharist’s loaf,
That in our brokenness we might break free and bless:
Dear Reader, have you ever blessed God for the ways He has broken you? Have you seen Him use your brokenness to meet the needs of others (2 Cor. 1:3-4)