Yesterday as I was browsing through yet another thrift store looking for undiscovered “treasures”, I overheard a woman saying to her friend something that made me smile. “If you put it up high, you won’t even be able to tell that it’s broken.”
Wow. Powerful analogy.
There are so many directions my mind went with this statement. Like when we put people on pedestals, “up high”, we tend to forget or ignore that they are still human, still “broken”. That power or prestige or pretense seems to erase the reality of the common denominator between all of us – brokenness.
But what my heart really leaned into was something different. These ladies saw the chip in that vase as something to hide. An imperfection or ugliness that wasn’t acceptable. They were buying the piece with no intention of fixing it or allowing the chip to be part of the vase’s story. They were going to ignore it and put it in a place where no one would know.
I’m so glad Jesus doesn’t see us like that vase. He’s never seen people that way. The whole time He was on earth His time was spent with the obviously broken. Those that needed physical healing. Those that needed spiritual healing. Those that came to him with questions and needs and an awareness of their own brokenness.
His precious, valuable, short time was spent on the “cracked and chipped vases”. Not ignoring their imperfections but tending to them. Even his own disciples with all of their attitude problems and lack of faith were people in need of His healing touch on their lives.
Leaders who knew they didn’t have all the answers came to Him. Tax collectors and lepers and people with a past had his full attention. Mothers who brought their babies and toddlers to Him. Why? Because, unlike the “all together” Pharisees who thought they knew everything they needed to know about godliness, these people knew they needed the touch of Jesus in their lives.
Jesus didn’t only tend to our wounds. He WORE them. And not just on the cross. He experienced the brokenness of emotions when He wept about loss and the condition of people’s hearts. He experienced the brokenness of mental anguish when He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, on His knees, pouring His heart out to His Father, asking if “this cup” of death had to happen. He experienced the brokenness of disappointment when His dearest friends on earth denied and betrayed Him and scattered when things got tough.
And then, ultimately, He wore every type of brokenness we have ever and will ever experience to the cross. He declared it healed by the power of His blood when it died with Him on that cross.
Though its after effects linger in this still-broken world, His love, as it was on the cross, is greater still. His love still heals today. I am proof of that. He is still not afraid to touch lepers or share a meal with sinners. Because with every touch and every minute of time spent together, His goal is the same. To heal, restore, love, forgive. To draw us closer to God.
The only thing any of us have to do, no matter what our brokenness or imperfection, our “chips”, look like, is to recognize that that imperfection actually exists. That we are need of a healing hand. A forgiving heart. That though our chip may be ugly or big or seemingly unrepairable, His eyes, His hands, His heart can handle and address it with truth and tenderness.
And suddenly that chip, that healed chip, isn’t something to be hidden, but something to share as a story of healing and restoration and forgiveness. A new beauty with a new purpose, whose cracks now serve as only a background for the lovely Fingerprints of God all over it.
Isaiah 53:5 – But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
2 Corinthians 5:17 – This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!
Philippians 1:6 – And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.
Psalm 147:3 – He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
Matthew 9:35 – Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.