Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Are We Really Broken

The definition of the word BROKEN, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary. is in part as follows:


  1. violently separated into parts
  2. damaged or altered by, as if by breaking, such as:
      a. having undergone or been subject to a fracture  
      b. not working properly

I have thought before, this is all ruined, it's unrecognizable, it's broken. I have worried and wondered; how do we possibly make this work? how do we move forward? Many times I have stood at a point in my life where all I could say was "Dear God why?".

We don't like broken things. They are not useful or pretty, they are not easy to live through or easy to live with. I have looked at things and circumstances and had thoughts of, "There is nothing left," and "This is useless."

As a parent of a child severely impacted by his disability I have a front row seat for viewing societies reaction to their perceived brokenness of my son. They don't always use words, it's most often displayed in lack of desire to accommodate and non-existent services. That sentiment of being what Merriam-Webster and the rest of the world define as "not working properly," that sentiment is a little tough to swallow when it comes to my son. I don't see him as broken, more importantly, God doesn't see him as broken. Unfortunately, we exist in a world that does.

The Bible speaks of brokenness, and great comfort can be found in verses like the following:

The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. 
(Psalm 34:18 ESV)

Verse 20 continues on to say this: "He protects all His bones, not one of them will be broken."

He heals the brokenhearted And binds up their wounds. (Psalm 147:3 ESV)

There is beauty in the brokenness. When we are willing to follow God, He shines through those broken pieces:

“While he was in Bethany, reclining at the table in the home of Simon the Leper, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume, made of pure nard. She broke the jar and poured the perfume on his head.” 
(Mark 14:3 NIV)

Sometimes it takes the worldly breaking of something lovely, something cherished, to see the love of God shine.

I have spent a great deal of time with the word and idea of broken. My children have brought me tear-soaked broken; toys, projects, and dreams, to attempt to repair. We have taken many trips to the doctor for broken bones. I have lived through promises broken that were vowed to never be.

I stand here today, BROKEN by almost every definition of the word, just as God intended. 

I don't stand alone.

Sometimes, as with our children, we have no choice in our perceived "brokenness". The reality is, we and they, are only "broken" by the world's standards. They work beautifully in their brokenness for the purpose to which they were created. We just don't always see it.

As I read some words of another mom, where she expressed her heartfelt belief that God did not create her child with a disability but allowed it to occur during their development, I was struck by her notion that God wouldn't create anything that isn't perfect but He would allow it to be "broken".

Psalm 139:16 says, "Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be."

Worldly brokenness is that thing that pulls us, that keeps us tethered closely to God. We need it. It is what he wants from us, it's why He sent his Son, and it's what He created us for.

We are only violently separated into parts, we are only damaged, when we REFUSE to break and be broken, that is when we cease to work properly.

We are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works...(Ephesians 2:10 NIV)

We are not broken, not really.

My prayer for us:

Dear Heavenly Father, You have known us from before we ever were. You know what we need to fulfill Your purposes in this life. God, we pray that we are willing to break. That in our obedience to Your will the light of Your love will shine through the brokenness of our existence. Amen


  1. Beautiful, timely, and very encouraging.

  2. We are beautifully broken for a purpose. But God is there to fix us. :)
    Beautiful reminder!