Have you ever seen something so breathtaking you wondered how it could be?
How could a bush be on fire, and yet not be burning?
How could blind eyes see the light of day?
How could a dead man live again?
This is the stuff of fairytales. This is magic and wonder. This is what we hope for, and even dare to believe.
Recently, the wonder that has left me breathless, the question that has brushed my soul, is how can brokenness be so beautiful? How can the perfect dwell in the imperfect? How is there wholeness in this broken place?
I read a lot. I’ve noticed that my favorite characters and stories are about the ones who are imperfect. And not just by a little. I’m not talking about characters who have rough days, whose nail polish is scratched and dented, who sometimes lose their temper, or dissolve into tears at the end of the day.
No. I’m talking about the ones who are completely lost. Broken in the deep places of their soul. Hurting. Aching. Struggling. Fighting. Surviving. These are the ones I am drawn to. These are the storylines that resonate. Because, at the end of the story, I always find them to be the most real. The most raw. The most beautiful.
It’s strange. How, in the midst of great brokenness, do they somehow have the very wholeness I long for? Is it possible that they are experiencing the perfect in the middle of their imperfection?
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 says, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
And that’s when I heard it. An answering call to the cry of my heart.
That the perfect should choose to dwell in the imperfect is a beauty I cannot fully understand. We are jars of clay. Fragile. Easily broken. And yet, these broken vessels hold the very Spirit of God. And that is how we can be afflicted, but not crushed.
We can be confused, but not driven to despair.
We will be persecuted, but never forsaken.
Struck down, but never destroyed.
Because we have the very Spirit of God. And, where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
And that’s why it’s so breathtakingly beautiful. Because, when we have Jesus, we have freedom.
We are not bound by our pain.
We are not bound by our brokenness.
We are not bound by our imperfection.
We are not bound by our failures.
We are not bound by our past.
We are not bound by others’ opinions of us.
We are not bound by our struggles.
We are free. Yes, we are broken. Yes, we are confused. Hurting. Persecuted. Struck down. And yet, because of the Spirit of God, these do not define us, and they do not bind us. As a matter of fact, they are the night sky behind the stars. In our darkness, Jesus chooses to shine his light. In our imperfections, he would come and dwell, letting His perfection be enough.
And that is what’s so beautiful.
Take a moment to stop. Acknowledge your brokenness. Your imperfection. The realization that you are not enough. But then, do not despise that. Your Savior doesn’t. Let him come and dwell with you. In you.
You may not be a burning bush, but when you are broken & beautiful, struck down & not destroyed, it is breathtakingly beautiful, and it will draw people to Jesus like nothing else.
So let your light shine. No, let His light shine through your broken pieces, and watch as the world is drawn to Him.