When Things are Broken...
(original post: 4/2010) Some days it just hits me like a ton of bricks.
You know those days – when you find yourself seeing or hearing or thinking about things that just highlight how broken the world around you really is.
You read about a child dying from neglect or abuse.
You talk to someone who is dealing with profound mental & emotional issues that are robbing them of all life.
You hear about yet another marriage falling apart and the massive casualties that naturally come from marriages that end.
It hits you – this world we live in is a broken and messed up place and I’m just not sure what to do with it. I'd like to go back to bed, honestly.
Today was one of those days for me, starting with an email about an event totally unrelated to me I received this morning that just set me into an anger & sadness tailspin that I’ve been fighting all day. Sometimes I just get tired of it – I wish people would act like human beings, stop being so incredibly selfish and shortsighted and get their act together.
And then I realized that I could be selfish. Shortsighted. Inhuman. Uncaring. Vengeful. Because I’m a part of this world, too.
One of the greatest promises of the Bible is that God will use broken people to help heal a broken world. There are no “heroes” in the Bible – there are simply broken people who were willing to say “I’ll go” to God and therefore become agents of transformation in the world.
In churches you’ll hear the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 5:17 read as encouragement for people to start new lives, which they are. But if you keep going, you see what happens when these new lives start walking around:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor. 5:17-21)
If we’ve been changed, renewed, restored and remade by following Jesus we’ve become “ambassadors” to this broken, messed-up world. We come representing another Kingdom – a Kingdom where people react to the broken stuff differently, though not perfectly, and it’s a Kingdom where it’s perfectly logical to get sad about brokenness as long as we remember – we know the one who makes “all things new.” (Revelation 21:5).
Does not make today easier, but it reminds me (and hopefully you too) of my role as part of the Kingdom that heals broken places.
Looking forward to this week - going to try and finish The Good and Beautiful Life (James Bryan Smith) along with Marva Dawn's newest book In the Beginning, God: Creation, Culture and the Spiritual Life. So far so good.
Be well friends.