May 5, 2015
by Maria Kane
she cups the brokenness
in her hands like a prayer
scraps and remnants a poor
offering of what was
Artistic Hand, gently
take the tear-stained fragments
and begin to create
what will be
~Gretchen Toler Debus
A little over a month ago, as I attempted to gather my things from my car, I dropped a large bowl of homemade chocolate mousse onto the garage floor. The beautiful blue and white bowl, which a friend had made and given to me as a gift, shattered on the floor as handfuls of mousse drenched my pants and shoes. I was devastated. Whenever I had used the bowl, I always did so in remembrance of the laughter, tears, and secrets we shared with one another over the years. Now, all that remained was a mess for me to clean.
As I later swept up the broken pieces, I kept finding fragments in the most unexpected places—behind a tire on the other side of the car, in the recycling bin, in between the spokes of my bicycle. Restoration seemed like a lost cause, and I was certain there was no way I could put the bowl back together. Still, the pieces were much too beautiful, much too sacred to be tossed into a black, plastic bag.
Weeks later, they now sit in a pile in my spare bedroom. I am not sure what I will make from them—perhaps a smaller bowl, a picture frame, or a piece of art. No matter what I create, I will do so with love, care, and gratitude, for all that was broken was not lost.
In the midst of the Holy Saturdays of our lives, healing can seem impossible and far off—just like those broken pieces of pottery splayed across my garage floor appeared to me. Yet, the resurrection of Jesus declares that it’s not over for any of us. We may emerge from those periods different from who we were before, but it is through our brokenness that healing and resurrection springs forth. The 50 days of Easter call us to live the truth of the resurrection’s power—to bring forth life from death, to make that which was broken whole. Such living is courageous, death-defying, and countercultural. But once our souls have walked through the dark nights of brokenness we can’t go back to who we were before—before the hand of God touched us in tenderness, before the creativity of God renewed us, before the love of Christ blessed and redeemed us into beauty.
Pray for the healing of your broken places and offer them to God as an offering of surrender and trust; do this as many times as you need to throughout the day.
Wow. Thanks so much. I’m saving this one.
On this theme – Sam Baker’s story and his music (“Broken Fingers” – find it on youtube).
Recent interview is on NPR: http://www.npr.org/2014/05/06/310089151/sam-baker-finding-grace-in-the-wake-of-destruction. Coincidence with this reflection in the first 90 seconds. Warning that the story is hard to hear.
I can’t wait to listen to it, Jennifer. Thanks for sharing it with us.
Thank you for this.
Perhaps the broken pieces could be incorporated into concrete stepping stones for your garden. Or perhaps a wall mosaic for your porch or for your kitchen. Perhaps your friendship and the broken bits of bowl will suggest a theme. Perhaps: Friendship intact; Bowl busted… Just brainstorming here.