Monday, February 11, 2013

Beautifully Broken

"Broken I come to you for your arms are open wide. I am empty, but I know your love does not run dry."
"Hungry (Falling on my Knees)" by Joy Williams

Last week I broke one of the shepherds from the manger scene I left out after Christmas this year. It's one of my favourites, and it worked so well with the kitchen colours (and fit so perfectly in the little box shelves), that when I started to consider leaving out a manger scene year round to bring my thoughts back daily to the wonderful gift that is Christ, I knew it was going to be that manger scene. Incidentally, it's not the Man's favourite manger scene, but he has lovingly given in to me. This is becoming a thing in our lives much to his chagrin and my somewhat guilty glee.

Then on Thursday, I was mopping underneath the kitchen table and when I straightened up, my back jarred the wall shelf and the little shepherd boy went tumbling down in dismay. He broke into three large pieces and a few tiny shards, so I swept up the shards and put the glue-able pieces next to the sugar bowl and finished mopping the floor (crying a bit on the inside). 

Last night, I took a few spare seconds to super glue Shepherd Boy back together and then this morning I slid him back into place next to his friend and the poor lonely lamb that thought he'd been ditched forever. There was a joyful reunion.

But all day I haven't been able to stop thinking about the little shepherd, broken, chipped, glued back together, and coming to worship Jesus. 

All day, as I've been fighting my lack of patience with my children, who decided to spend the day throat punching me, groaning dramatically when told to pick up, and asking me the same question over and over again...

All day, as I've been snapping at my husband who not only helped me get dinner finished, not only posted a really nice picture of me on facebook, not only allowed me in his squadron this afternoon and acknowledged that he knows me (and is married to me!), not only all that but also came home this afternoon to help me with the small discipline problem known around these parts as Little Man... Anyway, all day, as I've been snapping at that Paragon of Manly Virtue...

All day, as I've been clumsily maneuvering relationships and praying for grace...

All day, as I've accomplished less than half of what I've hoped to and been frustrated about it (and let everyone know)...

All day, as I've thought of others who have lost more than I have, who are going through harder times, who are walking through the valley of the shadow...

All day, through all of this, I've thought about that broken and pieced together shepherd, bowing before the Lord. And I've thought about Jesus too, nail scarred, thorn torn, blooded and beaten, who says, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."

He loves the broken. He loves the broken. He sees their worship as incredibly beautiful. 


So. When I am in that place when I do not feel like enough, when I do not feel whole enough--because I am grieving or angry or disappointed or just because I find myself saying to the Man, "I feel completely ineffective today"--when I find myself in that place, I want to think of my beautifully broken shepherd coming, inexplicably perhaps, to worship an infant King.

Because I can look at the fault lines and stretch marks and scars that render my life ugly to the uninformed viewer or I can fix my eyes on Jesus and see myself as beautiful in the light of who He is--and worship.

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