This isn’t a “happy” story about lasagna, green sweaters or cloth napkins. It’s a story about humanness and brokenness.
I’m not talking about broken hearts but, rather, broken spirits—
when you know you have worth, but can’t count it,
when it feels like life has been sucked out of you,
when you’ve lost, given up, or sacrificed part of yourself,
when it’s sunny outside but dark in your heart,
when it seems like you walk through life invisible, even to the people who matter most to you.
How much damage is done in our own homes or in our own relationships?
We hear painful stories about a bullied, young person (or someone of any age who feels alone, abused or unseen) taking his or her own life. We also hear stories about someone who was ready to jump off a bridge (sometimes literally) when one simple act of love stopped that. Maybe that person ran into a store clerk who was kind, or passed someone on the street who made eye contact and smiled. Maybe that person recognized brokenness in another and forgot his or her own pain long enough to reach out in love; changing two lives.
Everything that we say or don’t say, do or don’t do, honor or don’t honor, changes reality.
If you break a teacup and the pieces are large it’s possible to restore it. If you’re really good at “putting it back together”, others won’t even know it’s been repaired. (We often appear to “have it all together”, when inside we’re broken bits.) But, if it shatters with tiny pieces scattered everywhere, it’s really challenging. With a lot of patience, you might be able to glue it back together but it’ll never be the same. Sometimes that “never the same” is good—it makes it more interesting. Often, I’m afraid, it simply becomes a broken teacup.
I’ve been like that broken teacup—at times I’ve given up thinking that I could be glued back together.
We have to believe in ourselves enough to “repair” the broken. A teacup may still be serviceable without its handle but it’s harder to hold—it’s not complete. We’re serviceable too, missing a part of our core selves, but we’re not complete.
The broken spirit says, “I feel used up, discarded, unloved. I don’t feel safe. I am truly broken, down on the floor, pleading, ‘Lift me up. See me. Hear me. Don’t trivialize me. Don’t give me an answer to feel better about yourself; to shut me up or shut me out.’ I feel like I’m a child; powerless and afraid.”
It took me a long time to realize how broken I sometimes still am.
What if we fail to acknowledge the humanity of each other…….
in our world, businesses, organizations,
in our places of worship, relationships, homes,
God help us.
God, please help us.
Please don’t make promises to someone you don’t intend to keep, or give answers that are “appropriate” if they’re not sincere, or sit in stony silence when someone allows himself or herself to be vulnerable. Please be “real” with each other.
We can all be broken.
We can be put back together. We just need to believe it.
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