Saturday, July 30, 2016

Intimate with Brokenness

show me who i am and who i could be.
initiate the heart within me

until it opens properly.

slow down, start again from the beginning.

i can’t keep my head from spinning out of control.
is this what being vulnerable feels like?
. . .
i’ll run the risk
of being intimate with brokenness.

—Ryan O'Neal
{Sleeping at Last—Son}

Is this what being vulnerable feels like?

Did I need to be broken in the same way—yet different than before—to initiate, to resuscitate, my heart? Does numbness have a deep wound at its root and as the cause for its flight? So often healing begins with kindness or conviction, never with condemnation. It is condemnation that inflicts some of the deepest scars, the broken places I can't heal myself. But conviction is the breath of the Spirit blowing on me, making my stone heart flesh again—like Aslan breathing a stone creature alive.

Conviction is a tearing apart from what I have conformed to, grown around like a vine about a tree, as flesh around shrapnel. It hurts like hell to unwrap from that lie, that action, that cover I've let become part of myself.

Conviction is a tearing-up over my brokenness, my sin, how I have wounded the Father who loves me. The kindness of conviction comes in humbly seeing anew my Lover, Who does not divorce me—put me away from Him—but Who calls me by His name. . . Who calls me Belovéd, though I have played the whore, chasing other gods.

If the broken things have to be healed at the root—have to be met in the brokenness—then I'll run the risk of being intimate with my brokenness. Growth germinates in the ground of healing, in the soil of holiness. Healing takes time. Holiness is a process. Just when I think I'm finally learning, I find that my brokenness is deeper than I ever knew or suspected. I find the healing just beginning in places where I think I should have healed long ago. I get frustrated at all the tiny shoots popping up where there should be at least slender birch trees—if not a steadily-growing oak or two.

Why have I made so little progress in the span of my thirty-some years? I should be so much farther along by now. But I'm not.

I could stomp and be angry that all I have are these little shoots. . .Certainly I am disappointed that my crop is so immature. But I will choose to be glad, to give thanks that growth is happening at all. I will give thanks and offer up these tender shoots to the LORD as a firstfruits offering. I will let Him do the pruning and the nurturing of these habits that He is reordering to help me image Him. I will take joy in the work He is doing, not dwell on the years the locusts have eaten.

I'll run the risk of being intimate with my brokenness. . .


  1. Yes! I find there is something powerful about presenting GOD with my sin, instead of /just/ trying to not do it anymore. It's like I approach the Throne, holding my sin, just whispering "Abba..."

    Isn't the communion sacrament an intimate identification with the darkest deed in history? Intimacy with the most gruesome brokenness in history. We eat and drink the flesh of GOD because He told us to and it is the only real food and real drink that gives Life. The Truth is we wished GOD dead when we did whatever our hearts desired before we knew Him.

    1. Wow, "The truth is we wished God dead when we did whatever our hearts desired..." Spot on, Luke! And then we find out that He did die, not to give us the freedom to sin, but the freedom to say no to sin; freedom *from* sin.

      Thank you for your own insight, especially about the Eucharist.
      ~ J