Tell me if you relate to this.
When I’m feeling broken and I long for healing, my heart imagines a return to the way things were, before I got hurt, or before I hurt someone else.
I remember the days when all was well. It may be a long time ago but it feels so close, that time when I wasn’t worried about anything, because the troubles had not yet come. Sometimes I fantasize about a way things could have gone, writing a new history of my life, in which disaster was avoided.
In the broken moments, when I’m in pain, when I’m a mess, when I’m looking down at the fragments of my life, scattered in shards around my feet, I long to have things restored, put back together. I want to heal, and I assume that healing means going back to the way things were.
Do you feel like this, sometimes?
It’s hard to accept that life doesn’t work that way.
The deepest wounds, the great losses, the worst mistakes, these are things we live with, forever. They permanently reshape our lives, and there’s no way to get back to the life we had before they happened.
But that doesn’t mean we’re defeated in brokenness. There is no need to despair. The fact that trouble is part of our story and can’t be erased doesn’t mean there’s no hope. There’s great hope.
Because God does extraordinary work with broken things.
Every seed that becomes food is broken in the ground to become the plant that grows up and sustains life. I’m sitting on a beautiful wooden chair as I write this – a marvel of craftsmanship made of a broken tree.
Could you believe that your grief might become part of a new wisdom and compassion? Could your hurt and anger be fashioned into passion for justice, and commitment to your neighbors?
Could you believe that grace might and assemble something extraordinary of your fractured life?
At church we just adorned a new communion table with a mosaic of shiny, colorful tile. Every piece is unique, they’re all irregularly shaped, and they’re put together in an assortment that will never be reproduced. Because all the pieces are broken in peculiar ways.
And there’s no denying – all together, it’s just beautiful.
This is God’s redemption for humankind. This is what it means to be made whole. You don’t get your old life again, unbroken. You get a new life, put together in a new way.
There’s no going back, but there’s a lot to look forward to.
The Table is a Christian church in Davenport, Iowa, seeking transformation:
from greed toward generosity
from violence toward peacemaking
from isolation toward neighborliness
from fear toward faith
Worship Sundays at 5pm
102 E. 2nd St. Davenport