Saturday, January 5, 2008

Broken Things

Been a busy week, this first week of 2008, and with the writers on strike I've been hesitant to cross the picket line and make a post. Actually, writing just hasn't been on my mind. In addition to the usual first of year administrative stuff, seems I've spend a considerable amount of time listening to people dealing with significant brokenness in their lives. Broken health, broken friendships, broken relationshps, broken hearts. Talking with a friend this evening about brokenness in our lives I remembered an article I wrote several years ago about Broken Things, which I've posted in its entirety on my Checked Luggage blog. It includes this paragraph:

On any given Sunday the congregation is full of people who are privately holding on to broken things in their lives. They may be struggling with conflicts at home, pressures at work, disappointments in themselves, or uncertainty about their world and their future. We know it’s OK to admit physical broken-ness and ask for prayers. But to place any other type of broken-ness in the box feels like admitting weakness or failure – things that reveal just how human we are.

It is so tough to admit to others that we don't have it all together. And we expend so much energy keeping up the mask of that "all togetherness" with each other. How courageous, how beautiful and how humbling it is when someone says, "I've got something I need to talk about," and they trust you with their wounds.

Sadly, too many times we even try to keep our brokenness from God. But remember what God told Paul when Paul prayed for his "thorn in the flesh" to be removed: "My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness." (1 Cor 12:9)

God knows our brokenness. In becoming one with our human nature, Christ took on our woundedness, even as we are wounded. And here's the question, If God's strength is made perfect in our weakness, then why are we so determined to hide our weaknesses, and why do we work so hard to portray ourselves as people (and churches) of great strength? I guess we still think it's all about us, when it really is all about God.

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