Saturday, September 20, 2014

Seeing Beauty In the Broken

I ran across this tidbit on my computer and decided to to dust off the cobwebs. Hope it helps you to get to know me a little better.

I found a broken teapot.

In the past 10 years I have lived in three states, five cities, and received mail at seven different addresses. I have painstakingly packed and unpacked my belongings in a  mishmash assortment of moving boxes, Chick fil A waffle fry boxes, and those I've deemed most sturdy -- liquor boxes. Using bubble wrap, newspaper, plastic grocery bags, and kitchen linens, I have attempted to secure those "sentimental" items I didn't want to lose in the multiple-mile treks from place to place.

Moving regularly does have its positives. It is a sure-fire way to whittle down to the essentials of life. Usually somewhere in the process of packing up and trying to get my mind around the idea of heading off to a new place, I do finally find myself on that inevitable day. It's the day I call my "unsentimental" day. It's the one you need to have when you can be willing to throw out just about anything under the sun in the hopes of living life less encumbered. This is also the day you are much more concerned with saving money and avoiding more chiropractic care.

If you're like me, you give yourself a silent pep talk, all the while insisting, "We really didn't ever need that." followed by "We haven't used it in the six years we've lived here!"  Quickly wrapped up by my old time favorite, "We can surely find another one of these where we're going if we really need it".

Many things are tossed, sold, and given away. We've all been around when someone is moving and gathered the cast offs when space in the moving truck is getting scarce -- and space in our moving truck ALWAYS gets scarce. Little has a death grip on our hearts at this stage of the moving game.

Yet amidst all that mental chiding are those boxes. You know the ones. Dependent upon your allowable space for displaying precious treasures in your abode, you may or may not have seen these items in quite awhile.

The contents of those boxes is sacred. Clinging to each item inside is a story. Wrapped up in tissue or whatever you've determined worthy to attempt to cushion and protect are those delicate things you hold dear. You label them FRAGILE or BREAKABLE or CHINA, or all of the above and hope for the best as you stand aside and allow those with greater physical strength to load and unload those things that can so easily shatter upon impact.

What you don't realize until you arrive at your new address is how much of your story and your very self is wrapped up inside those boxes labeled FRAGILE or BREAKABLE.

I have always taught my children from the time they were very small "people are more important than things." I still believe it to be true.

However, in our hearts are those things. What I have discovered recently is the broken things in my life are not just broken things. Through tears  I tried valiantly to explain to my husband how these broken things continue to collide with the brokenness in my heart.

The teapot pictured above is similar and yet so different from my heart of late. The beauty is still visible to the undiscerning eye. The chip in its surface is barely visible unless you are really looking for it. I can and do still display it and enjoy its overall beauty. Unfortunately though, this teapot is no longer usable in its current state. It has lost its functionality as a result of its brokenness.

Yet may the state of this particular treasure never characterize me! May my own usefulness and functionality soar instead of plummet in the face of my brokenness. May the the beauty in the broken enable me to be refined and better used by my Savior.

The teapot may be broken but its story is still intact. I still know how I lovingly carried this particular treasure home in my tote from Prince Edward Island, protecting it with my pregnant self as I lay stranded in the airport in Chicago.

I know how many teas have been taken in this lupin-adorned china. I can remember my friends and the friends of my girls taking tea. I can see their faces around the tables in different locations. Sweet fellowship. Sweet memories. Unspoiled by the brokenness currently a part of this treasure.

My story is far from finished. I may not understand all the reasons for the hairline cracks and enormous caverns in my heart. I may not receive answers this side of heaven for why the circumstances and people who crossed my path shattered me and my sometimes very fragile heart.

What I can be assured of in the midst of my hurt is the presence of a healer.

I found a broken teapot. I am broken, but I am still alive for a reason and able to sing loudly of God's faithfulness in the midst of it all. See y'all next time!

On His Adventure~

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