PART OF THE HUMAN CONDITION
"People don't know what to do when the wheels fall off your life." I like that quote from The Longing, my latest reading treasure. The book is about finding your identity in Christ not in your accomplishments, your looks or anything else. In chapter six, Joey O'Connor makes a great point about brokenness and why it is an essential part of being a Christian: "Brokenness brings us to the end of ourselves. It is the very thing that brings us to our knees. It is the very thing we need to lead us to the wholeness found in Christ."
We need to give ourselves permission to be broken. That's hard to do in a society of winners who never want to appear weak, vulnerable, worried, anxious or overwhelmed. "We wear a thin veil of superficiality and shallowness," says the author. "We hide because we're afraid that if we truly open the lid of our hearts to show another person all of our fears and grief and pain, they'd say, "Yuck!"
I admire people who can be honest with their feelings without fear of appearing weak or vulnerable. There's nothing more endearing to me than a friend who openly shares her doubts, fears and pain. This is what life's about and it shouldn't make us uncomfortable. "We must accept our brokenness to find our wholeness in Christ," says O'Connor.
To find a friend who's honest is rare. Even rarer is finding a friend who allows you to be honest, especially when you're honestly hurting. Life isn't always about being strong and capable. Sometimes it gets messy and we should let ourselves be a mess without guilt. The idea that people, especially Christians, should always be strong and never struggle is wrong. The Bible is filled with stories of godly men and women who suffered greatly. "And through their suffering, God created something beautiful," claims O'Connor.
We all have seasons in our lives when we don't have it all together and we don't have all the answers. "Brokenness is part of the human condition," says the author. Then why do hurting people make us so uneasy? And why do we try so hard to hide our own brokenness? We're just not good at comforting people. We say the most ridiculous things to them. "There are other fish in the sea," is what we say to the heartbroken. "It's God's will," is what we say to the grieving. We'd be better off to say nothing.
People don't know what to do when the wheels fall off your life. But "Jesus, your broken savior understands your brokenness like no one else." Cling to Him. He promises to make something beautiful out of your brokenness.