Thursday, May 21, 2015

Broken to Pieces


As a follower of Christ I must learn to daily fall upon His truth and be broken by it. 

The alternative is, as it were, the Truth inevitably falling upon me, and crushing me. Everyone faces this choice.

Jesus explained to his listeners in Matthew 21, “The Stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; the Lord has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes… He who falls on this Stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed.”(v. 42, 44)


He was referring to Himself, the Chief Cornerstone and Capstone of our faith, the Truth.

I would find life more comfortable, for a time, if I avoided this daily breaking. I would also remain less bothered by the troubles that come from being transparent, vulnerable, available, to others. I would be free to live just for me.

However, Jesus explains that this state of self-absorption is only temporary. If I do not choose to fall upon the stone every day, it will eventually fall upon me, grinding me to powder.

Truth does not go away. It does not hide, it does not crumble and disappear. Truth stands. A beacon that beckons us to its sure shores, it calls us to know ourselves through its eyes of love and mercy, and to be broken. 

Our natural bent is toward hardening, not softening or brokenness. 

The habit of Truth-Seeking, Truth-Yielding, is one which must be cultivated, disciplined. It does not come naturally to us. But great and lasting are the fruits of such a practice.

Most of the life-changing truths that have come to me over the years have made me mad. My first reaction was to self-defend, self-protect, and self-excuse. But the power of Truth remains after our anger quells, and it continues to sound its compelling call.  Be broken.

At every meal in North Africa, bread is passed around and broken by the Mul-dar, or the head of the household. It is then given to the hungry gathered around the table. It is a sin to throw the remains away; the broken pieces of bread are sacred, and can still nourish the needy outside one’s dwelling. They are gathered and carefully saved for giving.

Amy Carmichael, missionary to India and rescuer of women and children, often said there are many things around us in life that show us Truths about God. She called them Figures of the True. 

The bread in the hands of the Mul-dar offers a Figure of the True, a picture of brokenness. Like the broken bread in North Africa, could it be that our broken pieces nourish both ourselves and others? In our brokenness we find His nearness. We are changed, our wounds bound up, our souls healed, our spirits set free. We are strengthened to give to those surrounding us.

Like sacred bread thrown away, could it be possible that as we refuse to fall upon His Truth each day, avoid spending time in the scripture daily, resist being broken, that we are sinning against Him? In our self-preservation, our concern about image, our pride, are we taking from others in need outside our walls? 

Conversely, when we go to His word, the Stone, as it were, each day, and allow it to break us, are we becoming broken pieces that can nourish the hungry gathered at the table of our lives?

I do know one thing clearly. In the times of deepest suffering in my life, I have been most nourished by the brokenness offered to me from a fellow sufferer who understood my pain and had walked a path similar to mine. In grief, we are given a trust, an investment of comfort, that can one day be given to others in the same pain. 

I am deeply grateful for the brave sufferers in my life who were willing to be daily broken, and to share their broken pieces with me.

In the meantime, I choose to let Truth have its breaking work in me. God does not exploit our pain. Rather, He restores and rebuilds the heart brave enough to be broken upon His truth.

The kingdom of God is a basket of broken bread, not one fragment wasted.


Think about it. Are you brave enough to fall upon His Truth each day, cultivating the habit of letting Truth soften you, break you? Share your insights in the comment section below.

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