Words are more than inanimate combinations of letters. Seen with the eye, they draw pictures in the mind, etch impressions upon the heart. Words exist in time unfixed. Written or spoken, they can inspire. Or wound. Or challenge. Or all. May the words found here serve as catalysts for the good. And may they do no harm.
"Do now, do now, what you will wish to have done when your moment comes to die." [St. Angela Merici]
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Broken—Looking to Move Forward
By Micky Wolf
can and do fall apart—either from age and use, abuse, or lack of attention. It
makes little difference whether we are talking about stuff or people.
someone—that has been shattered or separated into pieces [often violently],
damaged, altered, violated by transgression, made weak or infirm, subdued
completely or reduced in rank. [Merriam-Webster
of us, in some manner or form, have been shattered or separated into pieces at
one time or another. You could be, in this moment, in the midst of such an
experience. Maybe you carry a broken-heart as the result of being rejected by
someone you dearly love. Your broken-place might be one of great sorrow
associated with the unresolved issues surrounding the death of a spouse or
close friend. For others, the broken-place more resembles an ongoing infection,
the nagging sense something is not quite right.
of how we have been broken in body, mind, spirit or emotions—damaged, altered,
violated, made weak or infirm, subdued or reduced in rank—our brokenness can be
used by God as a wellspring from which to stir up hope and generate healing,
reshaping and restoring life even in the midst of the journey. Age, gender, social
standing, or geographical location—we can view these circumstances as barriers or
gateways to His love and compassion.
5 Steps to Looking and
resistance to looking at brokenness—of things or within self—is understandable.
After all, what fun is there in looking at what appears to be mostly trash or
unusable junk? But what if taking the time—and feeling the pain of what is—opens the door to restoration or
you want to be healed and restored?
Sometimes our greatest resistance is
wrapped and hidden beneath self-doubt and fear. Or lack of trust that God will
really do what only He can do. Sometimes the familiarity of what we live
with—within self or in our surroundings—has become quite comfortable, even if
it is broken.
you cooperate with God?
His grace abounds and is more than
sufficient to overcome [or in some cases help us accept] any measure of our
brokenness. Yet, for all His promises to not abandon or forsake us, we turn
away from the ugly parts of self believing it is too much for Him. Cooperating
with God begins with a simple yes. Whether whispered from the shroud of
darkness or shouted from the hilltops, we can be assured He will—in His perfect
time and plan—envelope our being with love, mercy and compassion to assuage
every doubt, concern and fear lodged within our broken bodies and spirits.
you willing to be changed?
Choosing to look at your broken places
will open a door, one you may not be so sure you want to pass through. When we
truly see in the bright light of honesty what is broken and falling apart, we face
a new reality—choosing to let things stay the way they are, or acknowledging
the need for change. Sometimes the very thought of “change” is enough to
overwhelm our thoughts and feelings with all sorts of images and emotions of
the unknown. People with reservoirs of painful experiences surrounding the
unexpected are particularly hesitant to change. For them, living a peaceful
life is all about maintaining control, which means avoiding anything that even
hints at taking a risk by engaging in something new.
you let go of the old?
How many of us have at least one old pair
of shoes sitting in the closet? Not the pair we use for gardening or working on
a messy project—the pair or pairs we hang on to “just because”. We would be
hard-pressed to give a good reason for keeping a lot of things. In the process we
miss wonderful opportunities for recycling or repurposing a multitude of stuff
and ideas in ways that would not only be a blessing to others, but allow us to
experience new freedom and peace of mind and heart by “letting go”. Whether
it’s an old pair of shoes or an age-inappropriate behavior, there is peace and
joy awaiting us as we release our grip on what has served us—maybe even well—in
you accept being different?
Sometimes we avoid looking at our broken
places because we sense it will mean we will, in some way, be made different.
And that is definitely true. No ifs, ands or buts about it—if we move through a
process of change in allowing God to heal and restore our broken places, we
will not be the same person at the end as we were at the beginning. And not
only will the evidence of that change be there for us to see, feel and know, others
are likely to witness the difference as well. It might be one thing to accept the
new self personally, quite another to come to terms with the fact others may be
less pleased with the differences in the way we now think, feel and act.
is most certainly not in the business of making junk. He is, however,
definitely in the business of healing and repairing what has been used, abused
and broken. Whether that means completely getting rid of something, restoring
it to a former luster, or replacing a part or two, we can take solace and
courage in knowing He loves us so much He will not turn away. In Truth, He will
enter with us into our broken places with the greatest care and compassion—that
we can count on. [Isaiah 42:3]
Can I accept my broken
places in light of God’s loving presence?
How do I feel about be
healed and restored?
Am I resisting God in
looking at my brokenness?
Is it difficult for me to
accept change? Being changed?