I am broken.
Broken, busted up. And slave to that feeling. How is it possible that a redeemed soul feels so broken? Why is one who was bought back from the slave market of sin in such bondage to her feelings and circumstances?
But is there more to this story? What if it’s about more than just the feeling of brokenness?
I am a trend-follower. It usually takes me a while but I do eventually follow a trend. I do have a pair of skinny jeans even though they make my hips look like a sky-scraper laying sideways. In the name of trend-following and appeasing my Pinterest-induced wardrobe re-haul.
A trend in the Christian community that I am probably late on picking up on is this idea of “brokenness.”
Friend, are you with me in having those days where just every part about us feels like a busted up mess? My chronically ill body definitely feels like it’s broken. Most days it just moans and groans like our tiny washing machine that only performs its spin cycle correctly when I sit on it. But the more I considered this idea of brokenness, the more I wondered what it actually meant to be broken? What does God have to say about this idea? Is brokenness found in an unfaithful spouse? Rare disease? Wayward child? Surely all these things would cause us to feel broken…
But what if I don’t want to feel like a slave to my feelings anymore? What if I am sick of this feeling of failing dictating my mood, actions and behaviors? What if we are missing something? See if we are just sitting here thinking about feelings then we are indeed missing something very important!
”The brokenness God desires most is a broken and contrite heart.”
Broken. The Greek word is shabar.
What is this heart so crushed about?
This one ugly staining of the whole of humanity. Maiming the image of the Imago dei.
To bring to birth. To tear.
Does my sin make my heart-flesh tear with the same searing, tearing as child-birth?
What a story of sadness if it ended there. If this was the conclusion there would be all the more reason to wallow in feelings of condemnation.
Oh but grace. Our Great Physician-heart surgeon saves the crushed soul. He is near the broken hearted. He is sitting right there in the pig-pen of your messiness, in the deep pit of your sinfulness.
“There is no pit so deep that God’s love is not deeper still.”
Herein lies the greatest paradox. Here is the secret to the release from bondage from our feelings. They cannot control us any longer, for the same sin that alienates me from God is the same brokenness that brings him near.
“The Lord is near the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”