When I was in high school, my mom had a set of off-white Corelle dishes with a single Calla Lily winding up the sides. And somehow, I came to believe that Corelle dishes did not break. Around this Corelle dishware era, I was given one of my most favorite assignments: we had to write a short play for English class. I wrote an intense fight scene in a kitchen. I wanted someone to throw a plate. How would we manage this without getting shards of glass everywhere? Obviously, we would throw a Corelle plate. They don't break.
It really made for a better acting moment in the long run. Both myself (the plate thrower) and the person I was yelling at, had very believable reactions to the plate shattering. I threw it down and it was a thousand pieces in a thousand directions. We swept the stage every day for a week and still found shards of it glittering under the lights.
Christians use the word “broken” a lot and in a variety of different phrases, as in “I'm realizing how broken I am and so I need God.” I thought it meant, “I realize that I am defective, and I need God to fix this fundamentally wrong thing about me.” In simple terms, I realize I'm a “sinner” and I need God to make me right.
God is giving me a new understanding.
My heart is broken. It's not defective. It's not wrong. It's shattered on the floor in front of me. I can't take a step without treading on it, breaking it more, cutting myself. I will never be able to even find it all, let alone glue it all together again. And it's not just me. Yours is broken too. Our hearts weren't made to live in a world like this. At some point they get dropped, thrown, wrecked. We are in a very real sense, broken beyond our own repair.
God gave me the picture of me standing on that stage, my heart shattered and everywhere, and I'm standing there frozen. Then he reminded me of the parable of the lost coin. The woman in the parable searches until she finds the coin. She checks under the table, she pulls up the rugs, she sweeps out the corners. The woman in the parable is a picture of what our God is like: relentless, thorough.
“I'll sweep it all up, Kylee.” That's what he told me. He will sweep up our shattered hearts. He'll find it all. He'll put us back together, and he'll make us beautiful. That's what it is to know brokenness. That's what it is to need a Savior who loves like that.