Broken pieces Shards of glass are everywhere. You sweep and you vacuum and you think you have them all but eventually, the littlest piece always finds its way into your unsuspecting foot. It could be months or even years later. Life is like that. People are broken. They try to clean up the mess of their brokenness, sweeping it all up into a nice, neat pile. Compartmentalize it. They think it’s all nice and clean but one day, there is the littlest shard that finds its way to the surface, causing pain - bringing back the memory of what broke them in the first place.
I think most Christians believe themselves to be beyond being broken. They may look at their past hurts and claim they have moved on but in reality, there’s still something there, festering. I know because I’ve been there. I’ve played the “smile, everything is ok” game.
This past year, I decided I was done playing.
Truth is, there have been people who have hurt me greatly. What I’ve learned is that you can’t just sweep that hurt up and toss it away, pretending it never happened. It did. And even in the last two months, the Lord has brought things to mind that still needed addressing. Wrongs that I thought I had made right that had strings left untied, pieces left lying around.
When something breaks physically, we have the option of throwing it away or of trying to fix it. Sometimes we look at the object and think that it is too far gone, but that is really never true. The broken pieces can always be put back together again, even though the cracks and scars will always be visible.
The same holds true for people. In one instance, I realized that a wrong hadn’t been completely made right on my part and I had to take care of it. Oh! One more piece glued back into the vessel. In another instance, I realized that the only way to make the situation right was to be wrong. It takes two to argue and even though the balance of “wrong” may tip vastly in the other direction, it’s still ok to give in, humble yourself and just say “I’m sorry”. There’s another piece to the broken puzzle.
And then probably the most difficult to face is that some people are so broken that there is nothing you can do to fix them. Sometimes, we are merely the focus of their anger because they cannot face being angry with the people or situations that have really caused them hurt. In order to mend this piece, you have to realize that the situation is beyond your control and isn’t really about you at all. When you do that, you have the ability to forgive the other person and pick up that broken piece, carefully positioning it back where it belongs.
It’s too bad it took me most of my adult life this far to realize this. I’m done being broken over the past - over things I cannot control - over hurts. They do not have any power unless I allow it!
Are you broken this holiday season? It seems that these are the times that dredge up the most hurt. Memories come flooding back and steal our joy. I would encourage you to face whatever it is head on! If apologizing for something is what it takes to mend your broken vessel, do it! It really doesn’t matter if your “fault” meter is only at .5%. You’ll reap the benefits 100%! Let go of the past. You can’t change it and it does not have to define who you are today. Embrace life! Love your family. Savor the moments. You only get one chance!
© Adorning Grace 2013