lessons learned: brokenness like a mosaic

This morning, I stare out my kitchen window at a cold rain that is relentless.  What might have been snow years ago has now become dreary wetness, and it leaves me longing for the good ol’ days of sledding and snow people.

On my window sill stands a mosaic bird that I made a couple of years ago on a trip to the local paint-your-own-pottery store. All of her broken pieces come together to form a beautiful reminder of a quiet day creating art with my daughter.  I don’t know what compelled me to think about this post in particular–perhaps it is Lent or maybe it is a message meant to be shared again.  And so, I’m reposting this one and lifting up a prayer for the brokenness in each of us.

God uses broken things. It takes broken soil to produce a crop, broken clouds to give rain, broken grain to give bread, broken bread to give strength.

~Vance Havner

Recently, my daughter and I spent an afternoon together at a local paint-it-yourself pottery shop.  As we entered, an area with mosaic pieces caught my eye.  I’ve always wanted to learn this art form but have found it a bit intimidating—so many shapes, not enough symmetry.  I was open, however, to trying it and picked out a bird to decorate.mosaic bird

As I began my work, I realized I was concentrating too much on creating a pattern.  Determined to be outside of my comfort zone, I stopped looking for shapes that mirrored each other or fit together well and just randomly placed pieces on the bird.  As I was working, I realized that this process was about more than making art.  It was truly a metaphor for my spiritual life.

Here my fingertips danced across handfuls of broken pieces of colored glass.  Each of these smaller parts had once been connected together to form one perfect, smooth object.  Now, that object had been shattered or cut into many shards—some sharp, some jagged, some straight.  I chose those small pieces and put them back together to create something new, something beautiful.

In our life’s journey, we experience challenges that leave us broken—our hearts or spirits feel as if they will never be put back together the right way, and honestly, how can they be?  Those moments change us.  The grace, however, is in the healing.  Those pieces of our heart or spirit come back together in a different way.  Some pieces may be jagged while others smooth out over time, but what is amazing, is that they have created something new, something that has a purpose to better serve this world.

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