lessons learned: the mosaic of brokenness and wholeness

This coming Sunday, a dear friend and I will be co-leading a “Longest Night” service.  Designed for healing and peace, this worship opportunity is often offered on the longest night of the year, the night when Darkness wraps her arms around us and holds on as long as she can.

In this season, I have often experienced a sense of struggle and brokenness which, while normal, seems out of place while others are celebrating.  My hope for this service is that it will offer comfort, hope, and wholeness to those who engage in the experience.

With that in mind, I have been meditating on the relationship between brokenness and wholeness, healing and hurt this past week.  It seemed relevant to repost this meditation from a couple of years ago.  ~cameron

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.  Then something happened, and 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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