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On Broken Things


Sometimes, things break. Sometimes, it is by no fault of our own, and other times, it is our fault. In my mistakes, I have, at times, measured how broken things seem or how jagged the edges. In my experience, measuring is a fruitless endeavor, a perpetual pursuit of self-condemnation disguised as good intention. There is reflection to be had and understanding to be realized. Still, at the end of the day, when things break (and they will), we are left with the unchanging effects of that brokenness. The events, the circumstances, the people that have been altered – though it may be hard to see - move on past the breaking point. Measuring has never allowed me to look past the point of failure.

I sat up the other night discussing my failures and sins with someone I trust. We chose to walk, and along the path, there was a swing. It was an old wooden swing. The fibers of wood creaked as we sat. Through the conversation, my trusted confidant wondered audibly, “I wonder if this swing will hold us.” Though I knew what they meant, I wondered silently if the wood could indeed hold the weight of the conversation. All the while, the admissions, the confessions, they continued. All of them, adding more weight to the wood that creaked underneath us. Under a pale moonlight, deep into the night, amid the chatter, the wood held.

I’m remembering (and still accepting) that Grace came on a piece of wood. It held the full weight of the world's iniquities and failures, unintentional and intentional. And it held. It holds still.

Each of us encounters brokenness differently. All of us ought to remember that the wood will hold. It holds so that we may sit honesty and authentically with the realities that have besieged us. It holds so that we may possess the security to speak the pain, the guilt, and the shame, not to measure the brokenness, but to see how to walk along its jagged edges. For in Grace, the broken edge becomes a path, one we must all walk.

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