If you've not been beat up, downcast and broken at some point in your life, stop reading now. For the unscarred and unscathed, I have nothing further to share. I am thankful you have ventured here and wish you continued smooth sailing.
Now for those who are still here, my heart goes out to you. Welcome to the unfortunate few that have been or are in the throes of heart wrenching humility. Find a quiet place and prepare to reflect and possibly act, so that we may un-break our brokenness.
We are the sons and daughters of fathers and mothers, we hoped to always make proud through our success. We are the fathers and mothers of sons and daughters, we hoped to never disappoint; by staying together, always. Unfortunately, now, many of us who are commonly known as main stream America are broken.
The trials and tribulations that have transpired over the last few years have wreaked havoc on the very essence of our being and brought us to this place of brokenness. Marriages have dissolved and families torn apart. Jobs have been lost, but more than that, lifelong aspirations and careers have come to an end. Most importantly, stability has ceased. The American dream, to bring it home, our American dream has been plowed under. Once fertile soils, where we developed extensive roots have become rocky ground; littered with the lifeless, empty shells of our brokenness.
Be it through job loss, illness, economic hardships, infidelity, substance abuse and/or a combination of any or all of the above, we have found ourselves in the throes of chaos. Our lives, once profoundly stable, have become like quicksand, offering scant, random places of solid ground. The world as we knew it, swallowed us, chewed us up and threw us up to the wind; scattering our essence across the vistas and plains, with no semblance of wholeness. Yep, we're broken here.
How do we heal, if not through our family, our friends, our church? Where does restoration begin and with whom? Jesus came to rescue the broken ones, the downcast and the hurting ones. He came to rescue you and me. With many of us battling for the title of chief, I dare say, we are all in desperate need of forgiveness and healing. And if healing can't begin through Christ and the church, with whom do we ultimately find solace and redemption?
Are we driven to search for "instant" friends for immediate gratification to mask the pain? Do we drown ourselves in drink or smoke, searching for peace in our endless quest to discover the bottom of the bag or bottle? Or do we ultimately withdraw into our selves and sink into solitary depression?
Sadly, through my walk in humility and counseling countless others, I have discovered what many have long since feared, subtle rejection from our families, our "friends" and a few of our "main street" church families because of my and or, our brokenness. We are superficially embraced, but at a distance. Those of us desperate for a comforting hug, along with a warm smile and a still warmer heart; are instead offered a shoulder; a cold one to be exact. We're broken here, we know it. We live it, 24/7 with constant reminders, painfully coursing through our veins, with each breath we take.
Has something ever affected you so much, that you longed to spare others the landmine laced road you have traveled? Opportunity awaits. Through Christ, could we not reach out to others who are broken and establish small, local fellowships that specialize in restoration, redemption and super glue? Restoring those of us who are broken through fellowship and rendering intentional acts of kindness, love, forgiveness and universal acceptance to others.
Redemption is the easy one. Jesus has already done that, by way of the cross. Nuff said.
Super glue, now this will be the tricky one. It will require the whole of us, as a body of believers, to reassemble the pieces of once vibrant and promising lives. Wholeness, if you will, yet with specific evidence of past brokenness. Battle scars, worn not as badges of honor, but humble reminders of the damage we endured and or inflicted. And with wholeness, must come the Omni-present healing power of hope. Hope inspires, it rallies, it is never defeated and it is always within grasp of God.
Beyond this magnificent virtue of hope, we must exercise faith. Pamela Reeve defines faith as follows: "Faith is realizing that I am useful to God, not in spite of my scars, but because of them." Imagine, with God's Amazing Grace, being able to use our scars to mend broken fences, humble hardened hearts and restore to a livable degree that what once was?
My pastor, teacher, friend shared with me this thought some 30 plus years ago. "If you don't feel close to God, guess who left?" My hope and prayer is that we'll all feel close to God again, so that healing can begin. God can and will heal our brokenness. But it begins with us. I learned a long time ago when we are in the direst of straits, we are to give whatever we need the most of. Hold that thought. Digest it. Give whatever we need the most of, be it forgiveness, love, money or restoration.
If you're one of the broken, I'd like to hear from you. Would joining others who are broken in small fellowships, aid in healing your brokenness? Do you have a story to share to help others in their healing process? All of us have something to contribute and share, no matter how large or small.