A group of ladies and I have embarked on a biblestudy that has required us to ask some soul-searching questions. Questions about identity, our pasts, the ways we cope and deal with what’s required of us and who God really is. I’ve learned, with renewed conviction, that we’ve all been wounded. Regardless of family structure, church background, or socio economic status, the world will find a way to us and brokenness is a result. Get a group of women together that will risk comfort to find community, and authentic stories of brokenness will emerge.
So, I’ve been pondering the value of brokenness.
If there’s a succession of stages one goes through on her journey in dealing with brokenness, the first stage is this:
Brokenness awakens us to our true condition.
It’s easy at times to forget that this indeed is a fallen world. Listen to my afternoon:
Carter got up from a nap and I put him in the bike trailer. We rode past two lakes with their exotic birds and turtles, under a gorgeous Florida sky, to our neighborhood park where we played under expensive shade coverings and mommies walked around with Starbucks lattes in their hands.
When we’re not grappling with a present crisis, we slip into believing what we see is real. Jesus rebuked a community of Christians because at some point they began to believe the message of their material wealth and social status’.
“7You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.”
The truth is that things are not as they should be. Adam ate the apple and humanity was banned from the Garden. And the age-old enemy of man and God still wages war today. The truth is, we were born broken. Our souls are just as prone as Eve’s to make our own way, to figure out life and living without God.
And that’s a Problem. It’s a Problem that equals problems here on earth. War, poverty, abuse, abandonment, rebellion, disrespect, and betrayal. Those are all problems that stem from the Problem. This Problem even extends beyond earth into eternity. It becomes even worse than anything we might experience here. The Problem can result in hell.
Now, enter brokenness and pain. These “undesired gifts” alert us to the Problem. They lift the veil from our eyes, if ever so brief, to see the ugly, helpless and sorry state of affairs. Billions, literally, billions of people live unveiled, face to face with the reality of humanity without God. Sex trade slaves, hungry babies, HIV patients, tsunami victims—the only truth they know is brokenness and pain.
If you’re reading this, you probably aren’t one of them. You’re probably sitting on a comfortable chair, with your expensive laptop, in your air conditioned home.
And that’s exactly why we need pain. We need an awakening—a message that reaches to the core of who we are. So, embrace your brokenness. Thank God for not allowing you to float through life, unaffected, and blinded to your need for Something Else.
Your pain is real. It’s realer than you think, and Someone wants to do something about it.