All The Broken Things


I look at broken things and all my eyes and heart can see are beautiful possibilities. - Tiffany Aurora

My grandfather died when I was ten years old.  The only lasting, vivid memories I have of him are from a few impressionable moments that are embedded in my mind.  There was the gift of a book, an afternoon learning to tell time from his watch, watching him smoke his pipe and listen to polka records...

And the day I spent with him in the junkyard of the old farm where my dad grew up in Eastern Colorado.  We dug in around the rusting parts of old cars that day, and he would tell me where each, disparate hunk of metal I dug up had once belonged. 

He was never stumped.  There were times when he would have to hold a piece of rusty metal in his hands for a moment, but he would always recall what kind of car it had been a part of, once upon a time.

Sometimes I see my own life like that small junkyard.  There are plenty of pieces and parts that I've buried.  Things I may no longer need because I've moved on, or maybe even aspects of my life that I'd just as soon forget. 

And I'd like to imagine that God lifts each one of those pieces up, shakes off the dirt and exclaims, "Ah! I know where this belongs.

I want to believe in my heart of hearts that even the discarded, shameful parts of my life weren't wasted, no matter how my head tries to tell me otherwise.  I want to believe that like God I will one day see all of those broken pieces as part of me, and full of possibility. 

I read this quote from Richard Rohr the other day, and it's been sticking with me ever since: 
God unfolds your personhood from within through a constant increase in freedom--even freedom to fail.  Love cannot happen any other way.
May you live into the incredible, often-scary hope that comes with your God-given freedom to fail.  May you discover that all of the broken bits of you that you've tried to bury because of your failures are never lost, never wasted.  God knows right where they belong.  

And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with ytou now and always. Amen. 

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