Twice this week I spent time with Christians who were broken. One, a younger believer, was struggling to make sense of the cruel twists of life and the bitter disappointment of being let down by others. The other was a Christian of long standing – strong and committed – one who exudes the confidence of his faith and has helped many in their own hours of darkness. The striking thing about both was their complete honesty and openness. I suspect that many, if not most of us, would have tried to hide our feelings and put on a brave face – at lest when in the company of others.
Some of us may be familiar with the organisation “I am second” – and the many amazing stories found on their website of healing and restoration from rejection, despair and mess. After spending time with my friends I wondered how many of us would subscribe to a website entitled “I am broken”? If you are like me – we are not comfortable with the place of brokenness, despair and honesty. Yet, as millions have discovered – it is only when we become honest about our addiction, failure, disappointment or fear that The Rock on which we stand becomes visible again through our tears. It is only as we pour out our complaint and desperation that the arms of Love and Empowerment can be felt once more holding us despite our emptiness and despair.
My favourite story in the Bible is of The Loving Father – more commonly know as the Prodigal Son. It was, as we know, when the runaway recognised his emptiness and hopelessness that he fled to the father. Had he never experienced brokenness he would never have experienced his fathers love and embrace.
As I think again of my broken friends I feel helpless – because nothing I can do will change their situation. Yet I know that in their brokenness there is hope – hope that they too from the place of their darkness can experience afresh that tender embrace and kiss of heaven which will usher them in to a deeper experience of His presence. Ultimately this is the greatest gift of all. This, and that God will change their mourning into gladness as their situations are transformed, is my sincere prayer.