Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Bring on the brokenness

I am learning to walk in brokenness.  To see myself as I really am.  To cut through the illusions and wrestle with the reality of myself as completely broken, hopelessly sinful, with no hope of changing.  I'm learning this after what I mentally label "a year of loss."  Maybe you know some of the events that contributed to this: a miscarriage, loss of vocation and ministry, loss of friends, and some more nebulous losses, like losing the roles that defined us.  I'm not intending this to be a pity-party.  Far from it.  Because this has also been a walk of grace.  

I have lived so long as a believer that I started to think I had something to bring.  Surely I should by now?  Compassion for others, a servant's heart, a gentle spirit.  I played (poorly) the role of pastor's wife: inviting people into my home, listening quietly, supporting my husband and making sure he was well-fed, dressed, and encouraged for his hard work.  I played the role of devoted mother.  The role of Christian friend.  Only to find that those roles can be taken away in a moment, can be brought into the light and revealed for their failures.  Broken.

This stripped away, I eventually concluded that the most I could offer was an eloquent prayer of repentance, a picturesque model of faith and submission, a devoted disciple of Christ.  Instead all I saw was a face blotchy and red from crying and a blank stare when asked how the gospel applied to my situation: "I don't know."  Broken.

I am defining myself in new roles: poor in spirit, a mourner, hungering and thirsting (see the Beatitudes, Matthew 5).  Broken.  But these roles are not something to avoid, to regret.  Rather they are accompanied by promises so full of hope: the Kingdom of Heaven, comfort, filling.  Grace. 

This walk of brokenness is a walk into grace. 

Some days I wonder if I have ever understood the gospel at all.  Twenty plus years of this journey and I never understood?  Some days I wonder if I understand it now.  That this grace asks nothing.  That, in fact, it demands that I hold nothing, that I am broken.

Without brokenness there can be no grace.  
And I finally begin to see how much I need grace.  Bring on the brokenness. 

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