"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the Lord, who has compassion on you.
~ Isaiah 54:10
I remember spending time with a woman suffering from a form of dementia. She would just tell me random things. We had been talking for about fifteen minutes when she became silent and just looked at me. Then with the most serious voice she said to me, "You know an escalator can never break, it simply becomes stairs."
She then announced that she was ready to read the paper, and wanted to know if someone would let her dog out (she didn't have a dog at the time.)
Her comment about the escalator made me begin to think about us. While we may see ourselves as broken, or wounded, we still have purpose.
I couldn't help but realize the image was sitting before me. While she seemed talk about a number of things that seemed meaningless, it was as if she was relating to me that she understood her own disease, and was saying to me, "I'm still here and I am still living through my brokenness."
Each day there are those around us who are living their life, broken. There are those with broken hearts, broken minds, broken bodies, broken spirits and broken relationships.
The older I get, the more I am able to accept the idea that Jesus invites us to live in our brokenness. It is as if he invites us to accept our own brokenness, just as he did the brokenness of the cross.
I have known people who live out their faith in amazing ways, by talking about their brokenness, and how that brokenness changed them. Years ago while talking to a man who had survived a terrible drug addiction who was now helping others become sober, I asked him, "What would you change in your life if you could?"
His response? "Absolutely nothing."
He realized that because of his own addiction and recovery, his own brokenness had made it possible for him to help others because he knew that brokenness "first hand."
Jesus does not ask us to reject our brokenness, but to accept it, and to ask God to help us make something of it. It is through this acceptance that God finds a way to take us to a new place, where a new life is waiting, and where we can become stronger. Not just stronger for ourselves, but for others.
In many ways that is the beauty of living through these things that have changed us.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2019
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain at Essential Hospice, Webster, Texas, and is an ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.