It was an object that held no value in the marketplace, but it became a treasure in my home.
Year after year, I set the porcelain angel on display; a delicate figurine that had been wonderfully crafted. The artist sculpted the angel in a kneeling position; head bowed and hands cupped around a bowl that was designed to hold a tealight ~ an appropriate posture to honor the One who is the Light of the world.
As the buyer and manager of a gift shop, I had ordered a large quantity of these figurines for the Christmas season and, in the process of unpacking and pricing them for display, I came upon one with a broken wing. Setting it aside, I placed the wing in the bowl that was held in the angel’s hands as reminder to call about this damaged piece. In doing so, a wonderfully symbolic meaning presented itself ~ the offering of worship in brokenness.
Brokenness. It’s a reality of this world that confronts us everyday and we need encouragement to persevere. But how? How do we put one foot in front of the other when shattered experiences leave us wounded? It starts with our approach. We have been promised that we can come to God just as we are; with all the hurts, wounds and failures that have contributed. The posture we take is key. We can continue to focus on what is broken or worship the One who heals. That requires humility; a recognition that we desperately need the grace and mercy of the Savior. An attitude of humble trust moves our focus beyond the whys of life to the truth that God has promised to redeem the broken lives of His people. There is release when we bow before Jesus, for His peace replaces our pieces. God knows the limits of our understanding and offers rest in the limitless power of Christ. Even if resolve does not come in our time frame, it is assured and eternal.
What has broken you? For some it may be a choice that has brought with it deep regret. Perhaps it is the fallout of another’s transgression; a betrayal of love or trust. Maybe something in which you placed your security has failed or a doctor’s report has rocked your world. You may be dealing with a habit you nurtured and its consequences have robbed the joy you thought it would bring. Perhaps you have stood at the grave of a loved one.
Broken dreams, broken promises, and broken lives are a very real part of living in a broken world. The pieces seem too numerous to ever make something whole of them again … until they are given to the Savior, whose body was broken to make us whole. Nothing is beyond repair in the hands of Jesus. He takes our brokenness and makes us into a new creation.
2 Corinthians 4:6-7 puts it this way: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of the darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.” (NIV)
That is the unbreakable promise of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. There is nothing we have done that is beyond His ability to redeem. We may have to endure the hardships of life this side of heaven, but they will not follow us into eternity. As long as God determines that we should be earthbound, we have the privilege of worshiping in the midst of our brokenness ~ a sacrifice of praise to God who is worthy.
A broken wing placed in the upward hands of a porcelain angel became a reminder from my Heavenly Father that worship in brokenness is a precious offering. Scripture confirms it. “The righteous cry and the Lord hears them and delivers them from all their troubles. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (NIV)
Whatever your circumstances this season, Jesus offers healing and hope. Come, adore Him, and you will find wholeness in His presence.