Embracing Brokenness


Life teaches us to despise brokenness.  Broken things are worthless.  Most of us can afford to go buy something new and replace our broken things.  We toss them.  They are not worth the time and energy needed to repair them.

Unfortunately, we do the same thing with people.  It just takes too much time and energy to repair them.  Unconsciously, we toss them away.  We are too busy and important to take broken lives into the repair shop of our heart and begin the work of repairing. 

I read this morning about the woman who brought the alabaster flask of very costly oil to Jesus.  She broke it and poured out the oil onto Jesus.  I believe that as much as anything, it was a picture of her life.  There was something beautiful and valuable inside her that was so costly.  Jesus was the only one who had ever seen inside her and valued the beautiful oil inside.  She was in many ways as broken and useless as the flask now was.  Her body had been used and wasted on unfaithful lovers.  Yet, Jesus saw past her facade.  He saw into her heart.  He valued her.  He did not reject her sacrifice.  He embraced her brokenness.

Jesus was about to be broken himself.  His body was about to  be used and wasted on us all.  The ultimate extravagant wasteful act.  His human flask was about to be broken and his very heart and soul would pour out for us all.  For me.  It is painful to look at.  My heart cries in shame, “I can’t receive that, Lord.  I’m not worth it.”  Yet, he gives me all of himself knowing that all I have to give him is love and most of the time I’m not even sure how to give him my love.  It is totally inadequate as an offering for One so beautiful.  But it is all I have that is valuable.  It is my oil.  So I pour it on his head.  I’d rather be at his feet.  But this gift requires I be close enough to see his eyes.

As his eyes meet mine, I want to look away.  But in his eyes, I see that he values my poured out heart.  It is all that will remain at the end of my life.  It will be what releases the fragrance of love for others to smell.  It is what awakens the desire in others to know him.  And I hear his voice saying, “I will value forever your love that you pour upon me.  I will insure that it is never forgotten.”  He embraces my broken heart with all its imperfections and says, “It is enough.”

Can you imagine how this woman felt to hear Jesus say that she would be valued forever and spoken of with love and respect throughout the entire world?  Jesus received her and did the ultimate turn around.  Shame exchanged for honor. Contempt exchanged for value.  Abuse exchanged for healing.  Cheapness exchanged for real beauty.  Service exchanged for relationship.  Death exchanged for life. Brokenness exchanged for wholeness.

Can you see him looking into your eyes?  He is longing to make exchanges with us.  He knows that what we give him is worthless, yet he embraces our brokenness and values it as the place in our heart where we can truly know him.  Where we can be emptied of our own self efforts to be valuable.

Give the pieces of your broken life to him.  See him holding them tenderly in his hands, touching the brokenness and putting the pieces back together.  He is the only one who understands what the original picture was to look like before it was broken.  His touch puts it back together in a way that makes your brokenness look like a picture of him.

Embracing brokenness.  It offends our intellect.  It offends our religiousness.  It offends our self-efficiency.  We despise having to do it.  But when our life picture is broken enough, we come to the place where we realize exchanging our brokenness for his wholeness is the only real choice we can make.   It is the beginning of really living.

So here I am this morning.   Looking into his eyes.  Pouring the oil of my heart and soul onto his head.  Anointing him with my love.  With the most risky sacrifice I can give.  The sacrifice that has been rejected by so many false lovers.  And realizing he has been waiting for me to truly see how broken I am so that he can receive my true love and teach me how to receive his true love.

And just as if I were a little girl again, I write a love note which says:  Mikki + Jesus  2-gether 4 ever.

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  1. hennie says:

    Thank you Mikki for writing this. I actually found your post trough google-ing. I printed it out and want to re-read it and let it sink.

    I underlined “Where we can be emptied of our own self efforts to be valuable”.

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