Tag Archives: broken

29: Cracked

cracked egg Earl53 MF

And these wineskins that we filled were new, but see how cracked they are. And our clothes and sandals are worn out by the very long journey.” Joshua 9:13 NIV

I don’t know the circumstances of your life, dear reader, but I’m sure that at some point you have known something of the way I feel today, cracked and dried up and worn out. I am struggling even to write this piece, my energy is so low. And yet the Lord is quick to bless me with the understanding that being cracked is often the first step towards the release of precious things. I am probably cracked to let my soul sing out his praises today when all the circumstances of life are hard. I am probably half-baked, delirious, seeing much desired mirages, trudging along in the dry places and desperate to find an oasis. How often do we come to such dryness in life and fall on our knees in thankfulness to drink from the running streams that God can bring forth even from the cracking of a rock?

Eggs are cracked to release yolk and white, or the life of a young bird. Earth is cracked to release green shoots, and the seed cases and nuts and beans themselves must also be cracked by life to germinate and travel onwards. Cracks in the ground pour forth spring water, tiny cracks in our skin allow it to breathe. Mountains crack over millennia to let rivers form. There are few shells and containers and hearts in life that are immune to cracking, and it is only lifeless eggs that never crack, and hard hearts that never leak compassion. Light, life, love and imagination must break out and burst forth.

There is nothing to be despised in the old and weary and weathered. We are cracked souls where the light gets in to the world, and the Lord does not despise a contrite heart.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18 NIV

 

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile.com

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5: Broken Pottery

kintsugi Jusben MF

“I am forgotten as though I were dead; I have become like broken pottery.”

Psalm 31:12 NIV

One of the worst things we can feel as human beings is the dejection of thinking we are unusable, that we are broken beyond any hope. That our destiny is only to be cast aside and discarded without thought. There are many situations that can bring us to this place of desolation: losing a spouse, divorce, redundancy, sudden illness or disability. Sometimes the realisation that we are no longer valued comes more slowly, with the silence of a long-time friend, a marriage falling irretrievably apart, a child who no longer calls. Perhaps it is still subtler than that. Loss of looks, an awareness that our academic credentials are out of date, a falling out of favour.

Whatever causes it, we feel like a jar that has not only been left at the back of the cupboard with a rapidly approaching use by date, but pushed so far out of reach that it has fallen off the shelf and shattered, and worse still, that no-one even heard the crash.

But here is a hopeful thought. This phrase is from the Psalm that Jesus chose to reference at the very time of his death. “Into your hands I commit my Spirit…” is how verse five begins. This song is interspersed with a whole gamut of emotions, stretched to the utmost. It talks of great suffering and injustice, but also of trusting the Lord. Was ever anyone as broken or stretched as Jesus on the cross? Flogged, scourged, spat on, tormented, taunted, crucified, betrayed, deserted, ridiculed, weighed down with all the darkness of history, and worse still, forsaken. And a second question, which must follow. If Jesus had not been so broken, would the bread, his body broken for us, have any power?

If this wholeness through brokenness to transformed wholeness is the journey that our Lord lived and died to show us, might we not take heart that our own broken pieces might yet be gathered up and used to feed thousands, with basketfuls left over?

©Keren Dibbens-Wyatt

Photo from Morguefile.com of a pot mended using the Japanese art of Kintsugi, gold used to fuse the broken pieces back together.

173: Ravine

172 ravine seriousfun on mf

To fall or not to fall, that is the question. Who will catch me but death, unless I float, feathered flowing, toing and froing, on streams of holy spirit air breathed to save me? Can I continue to stand here on the very edge of things, the sharpness of the earth’s deep wound cutting into my feet, calling me downwards into the abyss? Where is God in the presence of these dark jaws? Can I call to him here, even as I steel myself to jump? Does he answer the broken bleeding messes standing here at the top of all things?

Certainty rushes in with the solidity of wind and the sureness of cloven hooves. My God is at the top, at the bottom, and all the way down. Breathing the blessed assurance of this, I step back from the edge, and learn once more to look around me.

© Keren Dibbens-Wyatt 2016

Photo from morguefile.com