Friday, April 14, 2017

The Broken Lets the Light In

No one wants to talk about brokenness. I mean really talk about it – like wondering how life would've gone if I could've had my babies 12-13 years ago; if I could've met the right person at the right time then ( when I was young); if I could've not had three miscarriages; if I could have avoided getting into debt; if I could've avoided someone leaving me when I moved 2000 miles for him.  But then again these burdens wouldn't have created what is true and good about my life right now. Both must go together – the brokenness and the light.

To be broken can mean many things to many people. I have met so many people broken in so many ways throughout my life, and I am always surprised by their endurance and ultimate hope. Even to have been beaten by a relative; abused in different ways; controlled by someone out of control; battled (and lost) to illness--these strong souls carry their burdens, and then these burdens appear in new ways in later parts of life and challenge becoming human. Still, each one allows the struggle to become something new.  My most poignant personal experience of this happened in this timeframe: one of my miscarriages happened on Good Friday, and how excruciating, that shared suffering, but then for me a transformation. Since then my life has been full, and I can see hope in the child I have now, a reminder of life’s possibility, even in the face of isolation and desperation.

Our lives can be too full – we have to find a way to meet and embrace the brokenness. Still, business is life: people take care of their children, clean their homes, work, plan their lives.  In truth there's only so much we can plan. Our brokenness meets us in all places, at all times. We have to push out of the way all the extra, all that would keep us from embracing our true selves.

In my Examen lately, I have realized one of many reasons why we humans don't want to acknowledge our brokenness: sometimes it's too much to face. Sometimes we don't want to see our own ugliness, or that of others. We don’t want that responsibility to meet, greet, and acknowledge those aspects of our lives which are bound to change us for better or worse. What I am finding now is that my brokenness is something to accept, because it's opportunity for me to become more fully human, and to reconnect with the One who made me right now, without waiting and without fear.