“God, pick up the pieces, and put me back together again.” Jer. 17:13
Mommy, I love when glass breaks and you just re-treat it,” remarked five-year-old, Annika, in witnessing my reaction to the accidental shattering of one of my new hand-blown wine glasses.
There was a great deal of irony surrounding this particular glass-breaking incident that caused me to collect the pieces and to take a photograph of them strewn upon the floor. I had recently purchased a set of mosaic wine glasses to represent how God can make beautiful and useable vessels out of the broken fragments of our lives if we are willing to gather and entrust them into His care.
Over the last few years, my children have witnessed me gathering up the pieces from things that have gotten broken in our home to use as object lessons when teaching on the spiritual practice of TRUST during the BECOMING retreats. We practice entrusting our brokenness to God, entreating Him for the re-making, re-molding, and re-membering of the fragmented parts of our stories, allowing Him to re-assemble and re-assimilate them into the more perfect parts of our stories. “All things work together for good for those who love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28
Annika had already been a witness to the shattering of an eight-foot tall floor mirror which sent hundreds of glass fragments sailing across the living room floor. We praised the Lord no one got hurt that day! As I was cleaning up the broken mirrored glass, Annika heard me talking about how people, women in particular, have such faulty images of themselves from listening to the wrong voices in our society or from being abandoned or abused while growing up. I had told my children that I was going to keep some of these mirrored pieces for use during contemplative times at the women’s retreats.
I have come to understand that brokenness isn’t something that can always be avoided in this life. Certainly, there are some sorrows we can avoid by staying away from volitional sin. But sometimes humans are “pushed off the counter,” so to speak, and end up shattered upon the floor. Other times God calls us to actively go into broken places to care for broken people, and in the process, we get broken ourselves. This is what Jesus did, and it is what He calls us to do also. Perhaps it’s less about avoiding brokenness and more about learning to properly Re-TREAT the broken pieces, so that we don’t become defined by them, but rather BECOME continually Re-MEMBERED in Him.