Saturday, August 4, 2012

Finding Beauty In Brokenness

“Our life is full of brokenness—broken relationships, broken promises, broken expectations. How can we live with that brokenness without becoming bitter and resentful except by returning again and again to God’s faithful presence in our lives?”
—Henri Nouwen
Knowing brokenness and living broken is no sadistic blessing; it is closeness to God. It is either that or farness from God, and never the twain should meet. Our instances of being broken polarise us to draw near to God or reject God entirely.
But when we draw near to God in those instances of that brokenness we learn something: there is unabashed beauty there, in it. We gain the real sense that if brokenness cannot break us, if we can survive with our integrity intact, when others would be shamed and embarrassed, and we own every skerrick of truth, nothing can break us.
Such beauty is unconquerable.
It draws on gospel strength. It otherwise makes a mockery of every power and principality set up against the Lord.
Appreciating the Wonder in Defeat
Not many can allow themselves to think this way; but the victorious broken can. The victorious broken are no proud or brash lot. But they know that having survived defeats means they can survive future defeats.
Defeat does not define them; their identity in God defines them, despite what anyone might say in attempts to scare or sway them.
Any person well connected with their brokenness can appreciate the wonder in defeat, including what can be learned. They are keen observers. Winning and feeling good are not the be all and end all to these. Winning and feeling good offer only veneer value.
When we take on life in these ways we tend to glory in the fact that despite our wound we have a faithful God who has promised to get us through. Our endurance grows. We become safer within. And when we are safer within, we are safer without—in the midst of others’ lives.
Wonder is a Concept Most Beautiful
In our experiences of brokenness we will be asked to move toward God via surrender or away from God via bitterness and resentment. We will make that choice; each time.
If we can approach the circumstances that cause our brokenness with a sense of openness and wonder, not despising the truth, and certainly not denying it, God will open our minds to a concept most beautiful.
Brokenness is the path to divinity. Brokenness is the agency facilitating light. How wonderful! But we cannot achieve something so beautiful without letting go.
Finding the beauty in our broken lives is about acknowledging truth, and, in spite of the pain, letting go. Then the door of meaning is opened up to us. Such beauty is freedom—a better freedom no one can achieve.
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.

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