Devotion Thirty Six
Wednesday April 6
I don’t know about you, but I hardly expect the grocery store to be a place of spiritual illumination. But, in the wildness of mercy, I had a spiritual experience in the produce aisle.
I am not one to pay attention to the sound coming over the sound system in the store. That is something that I typically tune out. I am busy concentrating on what I am in the store to buy and trying to remember everything on my list, etc. I can’t have my mind cluttered with whatever dribble is being disseminated through the loudspeakers. It’s usually an annoyance.
But somehow as I was going down the aisles, the words of the song coming over the speakers caught my ear. What was she singing? It sounded like, “I’m broken and it’s beautiful.” That can’t be right. But I stayed tuned in and that is what the song was saying. It’s a superstar Kelly Clarkson song from the movie “Ugly Dolls.”
I think this is a beautiful image for Lent. We’re broken and we’re beautiful. That seems to be the way the God of the Bible sees this wayward human species. Broken and beautiful. That seems to be the way Jesus sees people. Broken and beautiful. That seems to be the way we are to look at others. As broken and beautiful. And then there is the invitation to see ourselves that way: I’m broken and it’s beautiful.
So often broken means no good. Doesn’t work. Something to be pitched. This is especially true in our throw away culture. The US produces 1,704 pounds of garbage per person per year. That is three times the global average. Broken? Worthless. Trash it.
But the song, “Broken and Beautiful,” invites us to see things another way. We are all broken in some way. Damaged. Hurt. Scarred. Imperfect. You can’t go through life without difficult experiences that take their toll. That is what makes us who we are. Each person unique and precious. We are all broken. And we are all beautiful. And we are here to see the brokenness and the beauty in each other and in ourselves. Isn’t that what love is all about?
Take some time to think about how you are imperfect, damaged, scarred. Think about the hurt and pain that you see in others. That is part of what makes us who we are. The Christian image of God is a God that claims us as beloved. As we are. And we see Jesus as someone who embodies that claim. Broken, beloved, beautiful. That is who we are. Amen.