Peace and passion. An extremely enviable combination – and a state of being that many people hunt, but not many are able to effectively realize.
A few years ago, when I first penned the broken glass blog piece, I said that I wanted to trust God to fix broken things. That was apparently a pre-fabrication. No, it wasn’t even the truth. I just hoped that things would be fixed without my effort and that time would heal all wounds.
But time doesn’t really heal wounds; I don’t believe that anymore. Time just crafts the lesions into scars that are still visible and reminiscent of a tragedy. I’m not even being pessimistic; that is just how it is. “Things break,” is just about the equivalent of something I try not to say out loud anyway... “S*it happens.” But it doesn’t mean, “Suck it up, move on, and forget it.” It is just stating a fact. THINGS DO BREAK. And ironically I am notorious for not fixing physical things when they break (my gift vase, my grandmother’s china, a teapot, a cat bowl…), and not even going through the effort of locating the super glue, because I just assume they will never really be the same again. And we all know I’m not really talking about teapots and china….or champagne glasses and baby rattles.
Twice when I’ve been deeply hurt and angry, my friend Tiff has brought over a box of plates and a mallet or two. The first time our impassioned hammering turned into a beautiful mosaic which lined my kitchen counter and out of which I got numerous ooohs and aaahs from visitors. Now, while it may sound cliché to say that broken things can be turned into something beautiful, I will also admit that I wasn’t saying it to myself enough. I was too consumed with the broken and more and more doubtful of the mosaic with each passing crash. It was also as if I was handing my pieces to someone – anyone - else and saying, “Here; this broke. Fix it for me,” all the while doubting anyone would want to or even care -- but I sure wasn’t taking responsibility for it because it wasn’t my fault it all broke in the first place, right? That’s not sharing in a cup of suffering; it’s passing it off! And all this time I was putting my self-validation in whether or not people trusted me, yet I trusted myself less, trusted others less, and trusted God less. Frankly, the irony is staggering.
I can’t fix everything and things do break. What has been completely over my head is the possibility that God isn’t necessarily sitting there waiting to help me pick up the pieces anyway; it has occurred to me that it may just be some semblance of a greater cosmic voice blowing things apart so that I might take a closer look at myself and make some kind of an effort to locate the stinkin' super glue.
Going through the motions doesn’t please you, Lord, a flawless performance is nothing to you.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice. Psalm 51:17
The tat on my left ankle is the Chinese word for passion; it is not just a word, but a symbol for the desire to have a loving, blissful existence with the Almighty and the world around me - but just as imperative, and sadly at fifty something, I have only recently begun to understand how to achieve peace and acceptance within myself. It's something Jesus already did and is why I got "peace" tat on my wrist on the opposite side of my body ... a symbol for that desired balance and the quest to open myself up to new levels of passion and spiritual peace that will cause a spark of positive power over my little world and will embrace a fresh and healthy approach ... to broken things.
That symbol, my friend, is the cross.
BROKEN GLASS - How to Fix Broken Things Forever
BROKEN SACRAMENT - How to See When God is Uniquely Active
Here are some great suggestions about embracing brokenness, just for you, if you need it.