Ponder these beautiful and challenging words from Ann Voskamp’s The Broken Way. (I’m more than half way through the book!)
This is what I know right then: the world is broken-hearted and full of suffering, and if you listen to what life needs instead of what you need from it, you could fill the brokenness with your own broken-hearted love—and this will in turn fill you. What if you were not afraid? P. 88
I can fill the brokenness that surrounds me with my own broken-hearted love and my life is full. It is. I have story after story. Picture after picture. Like this one. You believe me now, right?! (Don’t you want to know the story of this picture?!)
Which has me singing “Beautiful Things” from Gungor. (Note: I’m singing to myself which is for the good of everyone, especially if you know about the Seefeldt singing genes.)
All this pain
I wonder if I’ll ever find my way
I wonder if my life could really change, at all
All this earth
Could all that is lost ever be found?
Could a garden come out from this ground, at all?
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of the dust
You make beautiful things
You make beautiful things out of us
This is the movement of God. In the community of the triune relationship, God created beauty out of nothingness. From the ugliness of an illegitimate birth and being born into poverty conditions, Jesus put on our beautiful skin to touch the world. This is what the beauty of Christmas is all about. While on earth Jesus looked at the human condition and touched it, sometimes healed it. He saw the beauty of children and asked that they not be sent away but be touched by Him. He did the same with the unwanted by society…He touched them. Through the work of the Holy Spirit today and every day since, God moves the universe to make beautiful things out of the messes we create of our lives. This is the movement of God. To make beautiful things out of the dust. And out of us.
As beautifully written in The Message version of the Bible: And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We’re free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him. 2 Corinthians 3:17-18.
Our lives becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives…this is the good news this Christmas.
So I’m not afraid of my broken-heart because it does lead me to having a very full life. A good life. A beautiful life. These go together. You would even say I have a brave life.
What if you were not afraid of your pain? Of your broken-heart? The one who fears suffering is already suffering from what you fear. True, right?
This is also true. “The very thing we are afraid of, our brokenness, is the door to our Father’s heart.” –Paul Miller
The Father’s heart sent His Son to put on beautiful flesh to feel pain. From The Message again, We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin. So let’s walk right up to him and get what he is so ready to give. Take the mercy, accept the help. Hebrews 4:15-16. (Note: The title of this section of scripture in The Message is “The High Priest Who Cried Out in Pain.” That is beautiful.)
Let’s walk right up to Him with bravery and get what he is so ready to give. My broken-heart is full of love. So much love I can share it. Be brave with me. Share your broken-heart this Christmas season…and don’t be surprised when you see beauty.