Monday, July 23, 2018

Broken Beautiful

It is difficult on a day like today to know what to write. Truth be told, I've started this blog a number of times, in a number of different ways, and clearly, erased them all. It's because I'm torn. I'm torn between some of the good and beautiful and breathtaking things that I know about God and the depths of the pain in very real human hearts who are stuck somewhere east of Eden, my own heart included. 

My own soul included.

I have a bit of a reputation in real life, though it doesn't often come through on the blog, for being able to fix just about anything. And if I can't fix it, I'll learn how, particularly if it's important to someone (or if you tell me how much money I can save by learning to fix it myself). And I love being able to fix things, but the truth is that I'm still human, and there's nothing I can do to fix the human soul. 

This life we live, it's messy. It's hard. It takes more out of us some days than we feel like we have to give, and it drags through the depths of our well until even the mud and the muck at the bottom are all stirred up before it just...leaves us there. Used up. Drawn dry. Aching from the assault. 

And we look up toward the heavens, and we scream, God, what am I supposed to do with this??? and we bury our heads in our hands and weep, God, what am I supposed to do with this.... 

And the answer, as much as we don't want to hear it, as much as we don't think we can handle it being actually this, is that we're already doing it. We're already doing exactly what we're supposed to do with it, screaming and crying and mourning and weeping and aching and fearing and letting our souls be troubled. This is it. This is all that it is.

It feels like there ought to be some balm for that, like there ought to be something in all this world that would soothe that ache, that would salve that wound, but there's not. Not really. It lies open, bare and exposed before everything, and it brings us face-to-face with the very real nature of being...human. 

It's not, of course, the way that it was supposed to be; God never created Adam for this. But here we are anyway in a world that so often just claws at the very depths of our being, at the very seat of our souls, at the very root of our existence until there's nothing left but a raw, bleeding heart...and tears. And a soul that aches for the Lord who walks in the cool of the garden with us. 

It's the human story, at least since the fall, and I don't suppose I'm the one who's going to change it. I wouldn't even know where to start. It's hard, perhaps the hardest thing in all the world, to stay broken by this, to stay broken at all. It's so much easier to get angry, furiously mad, violently aggressive and go after it. It's so much easier to get entitled, to feel betrayed, slighted, to become passive-aggressive. It's so much easier to do just about anything because broken...broken hurts without fault. There's no one else to blame, no one to go after, nothing to retaliate against. Broken's just broken, and it's a hard place to be. 

But God does broken beautiful. And on those nights where I know my own powerlessness, where I feel the ache in the depths of my soul and know there's not a darned thing on earth that I can do about it, on those days where the ache is deeper than my well and the pain is too much to take, I cling only to this hope and know that although there is nothing I can do for my own wounded soul, there's something God can do and He's already doing it. Beautifully. 

I wish I had something more encouraging to say to you, something to make it easier to be in the kind of painful, aching, hurting place in which you find yourself, but I don't. I just don't. The only thing I know about these places is what we all know: they're hard. And even though it feels like the last thing you want to do right now, like the worst piece of advice possibly ever, all I know to say is this: stay broken. Stay broken and don't let yourself grow angry or bitter or entitled or inauthentic. Flay your heart out and lay it before the Lord who heals souls, who is the balm for this very human ache. 

Because He does do broken beautiful. Promise.

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