Monday, January 10, 2011

The Broken Man

"Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up."
James 4:10

My favorite Christmas cookie is a really well made gingerbread man; little chocolate buttons and some white frosting, YUM! I have not mastered the gingerbread man. My sister in law taught me how to make them many years ago. She and my nieces are excellent bakers. I can be...baking challenged!

However, my lack of innate skill does not diminish my desire to try every year to better the art of fine gingerbread man making. In spite of their overall diversity, some come out dark and crunchy, some soft and fluffy, all of them taste really great. Some, before I have even gotten them to the cooling rack break off, leaving limbs and buttons scattered. I take the broken ones and place them in a smaller bin for our family to munch on until we break out the "perfect" ones at Christmas.

This prompted our four year old to say to me, "Why do you put the broken ones in here? They are the best ones, Mommy. I love them." In that moment, I thought about the way that our God, omnicient and omnipresent says the same to all of us.

"I love you. Yes, you broken ones, I love you!"

A younger version of myself was convinced that brokenness was a response to a life event; that death, or loss or change prompted brokenness and then we simply grow out of it. Last year, studying Nancy Leigh DeMoss' Brokenness, I discovered there is so much more to brokenness.

"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and contrite heart -
These, O God, You will not despise." Psalm 51:17

That heart...broken and contrite, humbled and convicted is the heart the Lord wants for us all the time. My preconceived notion of brokenness being woeful and mourning for such a time as this, was...well...wrong! DeMoss speaks to true brokenness being "a constant way of life, a moment-by-moment lifestyle of agreeing with God about the true condition of our hearts and lives, not as everyone else thinks it is, but how He knows it is." (p.44)

When we look at those broken gingerbread men, they are not placed on the plate with the others because they do not look right (in our human eyes). How often we approach real life situations in this way, focusing our energy on ourselves, each other and not relying solely on the providence of our matchless Maker.

In our broken state, we are concerned with God's view and not with our own or with that of those around us. Our spirit is broken in conviction for Him, yielding perfect peace unlike the constant sorrow we may envision when we use the term "broken". Sorrow and mourning will come in order for revival to follow, but there are blessings in brokenness and ultimately new life.

The visual of those sweet gingerbread men will remind me daily of my need for brokenness as an ongoing lifestyle. It will remind me that being broken is a choice to be humbled under the hand of our Precious Father and live each day in desperate need of him. What a truly miraculous way to begin a new year, heart poised for the rejuvenation that can only come through the cleansing and healing of being broken.

Wishing you a beautiful beginning to this New Year.


1 comment:

Warren Baldwin said...

I love Psalm 51. I like the idea, too, that God calls and uses us not despite of our brokenness, but b/c of it. He calls us to minister to the other broken people. Good post.