This week’s Five Minute Friday prompt is “Broken.” I wasn’t ready for it Friday. Not on Good Friday, the day of all the year when I am most swept away by the spiritual. Not on the day when my attention is continually drawn to events that changed the world a couple of thousand years ago, events we commemorate during this season. I wasn’t ready Saturday, the day when it feels as if the world held its breath: the Son of God was dead and buried; what could possibly happen next? I wasn’t ready until after Sunday’s sunrise service, when we celebrated the empty tomb, when the outrush of breath and inrush of incredulous joy reminded me yet again of the miracle of Easter, of life after death, of eternity mine. Then, after letting the rejoicing ring in my heart until the last lingering note faded, after spending time in community and family (and celebrating my coincidental birthday a bit), THEN I was ready. Now, here it is – my writing on the topic, “Broken.”
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We are told that we live in a broken world. Preachers, politicians, and activists tell us so, and they all have ways for us to fix it. But what does it mean to say our world is broken?
For me, it means I live in two states of being at all times. I was created to be in fellowship with a loving Creator. He loves me as I am and He sees me as lovable, whole, and beautiful. However, not everyone in my world sees me as He does, and I often don’t, either. It’s as if my lenses are broken, fracturing my vision.
If I focus on Him, pay attention to what I understand about His love for this world and everyone in it, then I see things as hopeful and alive. But if I move my eyes just a little, even just a blink, I might all at once looking through a crack in my broken lenses, distorting and making everything seem impossible and ugly. One little eyeblink, and I move from feeling whole to feeling broken.
It’s like standing with a foot on either side of a stream. If I were on one side, it would look a certain way, but from the other side, the light would be different, so the water and the bank and the trees would all look different. But I’m not on either side, I’m on both, and the bridge, the way from one side to the other, is broken. I don’t have strength to push myself away from either bank to commit to the other. I’m stuck, looking through broken lenses, and I feel as if I might break.
I guess that’s where Jesus comes in. He lived a human life, too, in a fallen world. Surely He felt the tug of war that brokenness engenders. But since He lived a perfect life in spite of the brokenness, wholeness won. He offers to be the bridge that connects the broken parts of my life, condemned and forgiven, body and spirit, fear and faith. He places Himself between my two states of being and lets me be the one He made me to be.
Loved, whole, beautiful. I am, you are, the world is. If only we can remember to look through the right part of the lenses, we’ll see things aren’t broken after all.