Tuesday, January 14, 2014
Brokenness and Beauty
There is such profound brokenness when I look around. Chemo dripping into veins as the minute hand ticks away on the wall, brokenness as I watch others navigate their way through the devastation left in the wake of words spoken in anger, hearts shattering as time marches on...day to day annoyances smacking into you, bills that continue to trickle in…leaving the person gasping with despair. Tummies empty, orphans alone, couples split apart, shootings and hate filled words...all of it tumbles across the screen as the news caster reports the news from the day in small town America...why? Why are things so broken? Why does life have to hurt so much?
Yet despite all of the brokenness, one cannot deny there is such beauty, such profound beauty that it makes me ache. The sound of the birds in the morning, the smell of a new day dawning on the horizon, the crystal sparkle of ice as it clung to trees, leaves, and grass blades, the smile of your child first thing in the morning...still cuddly from sleep, still innocent enough to see the magic of each new day. The beauty in the smile a mother bestows upon her child in line at the grocery store, oblivious to others, the beauty in the greeting of a man confined to a wheel-chair that seems to always have a smile for you and a nice word to speak, beauty in the sermon that is preached, a book that is read, a story that is written. Beauty in the first breath taken, beauty in the last breath exhaled…beautiful, oh so beautiful.
How can things be so broken and yet so beautiful?
Before I became an adult I used to pray 'please, oh please spare me the broken'. Just let me gaze on the beautiful. Give me laughter and joy but take from me the tears and unanswered questions.
But, as always, His plan is better and brokenness came. Sometimes it crept in drip-drip-drip of one thing after another, piling up quicker than patience could respond. Sometimes brokenness came in the form of bills arriving in the mail with little or no money to cover them. Sometimes it stole into relationships as someone, unleashing their angry and critical tongue, lashed and scarred my heart. Sometimes it has come in the form of watching one of my children struggle with their health. Sitting in endless doctor offices, hospital waiting areas...just wanting an answer. How can we fix this and how can this child still live life to its absolute fullest? Sometimes brokenness has been the result of my sin, facing my failures, letting go of a dream that I could have had, the hurt I inflicted with a rash response...
Either way, the brokenness has flayed me wide open and left me grasping for His presence and His comfort. Because of the brokenness He has become so very beautiful to me, His Words so precious.