Brokenness Under the Blessing



The great mystery of God’s love is that we are not asked to live as if we are not hurting, as if we are not broken. In fact, we are invited to recognize our brokenness as a brokenness in which we can come in touch with the unique way that God loves us. The great invitation is to live your brokenness under the blessing. I cannot take people’s brokenness away and people cannot take my brokenness away.  But how do you live in your brokenness? Do you live your brokenness under the blessing or under the curse? The great call of Jesus is to put your brokenness under the blessing.
~Henri Nouwen from a Lecture at Scarritt-Bennett Center




For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

16 Therefore we do not lose heart.
2 Corinthinians: 6-12, 16




It is a ceramic pot meant specially for our kitchen table — handmade by a friend using the abstract artistry of mane hairs from our farm’s Haflinger horses burnt onto the sides.  But it hit the floor and broke into many pieces, looking completely beyond repair.

It is back on our table, repaired with love and care by another friend, using nothing more than copious amounts of Elmer’s Glue.  This is the glue of every child’s school desk, the glue of every mother’s junk drawer, the glue of every heart that needs mending.  Elmer’s is not the gold of the Japanese art of kintsugiwhere broken vessels are repaired with precious metals, creating an object even more valuable and beautiful than before, with streaks and tracks of gold highlighting their shattered history.

Yet it is now even more precious to me. Someone we love cared deeply enough to make it in the first place, and another we love cared deeply to repair it, making it even more beautiful and blessed in its brokenness, highlighting ragged pieces made whole again.

Someone made us.
Someone repairs us when we fall apart.
Someone blesses our brokenness with a glued-together beauty that makes us whole.

Therefore do not lose heart.






8 thoughts on “Brokenness Under the Blessing

  1. And so it is with the worn tools on my farm. The ones that mean so much are the ones my dear Eli used for years and years. Handles smooth, blades sharpened…As his son replaces locks I take the old ones with me to my new home… well as the favorite tools. Love, love, love

    Liked by 1 person

  2. dear emily, i did not know the beautiful, black lines on your “heart-vase” were from your horse’s mane hairs. what a deeply loving and altogether inspired gift from BOTH of your friends! i have always enjoyed seeing it show up in your posts. thanks again for the back story, and your inspired words!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wonderful post.
    We come into the world as clay. Ready to be molded by the Divine Potter. When we through our choice join our will to His then we are fired to a solid state in His likeness by the fire of the Holy Spirit, God’s love.

    Though while in this state we are still capable of sin. And when we do, we fall from His grace as your vase did from the table and we, too, are broken. But by God’s love we find forgiveness and healing. His forgiveness is the Elmer’s glue that puts us together and returns us to grace.

    However, although we have been repaired we too, as the cracks in the vase, still carry the blemishes of our oft times broken relationship with our God. Yet, while in a renewed state of grace through forgiveness, when we stand before His justice, Christ will show God the Father His scares and, by them, how much He loves us. And through His mercy those blemishes of un-amended indiscretions will be burned away like dross is to reveal pure gold. We then will be again like the pre-broken vase, perfect in His likeness, and worthy to be in His presence.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. And Someone is using the golden beauty of our mending cracks, bringing healing to the broken and shattered around us.

    “Therefore do not lose heart!”

    Liked by 1 person

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