Over the weekend, the father-in-law of one of my colleague’s was badly injured in a bike accident. When I inquired as to how he was doing, he simply said “Broken”. With multiple fractures and bruises, that is the most descriptive word possible.
Early this morning we received word that my mother-in-law died. Her body was broken and could no longer sustain life. Tears well up as I think of my father-in-law kissing her one last time, saying “I love you,” those words that formed their union so long ago and her slipping away. It only takes a moment to go from life to death.
In my faith tradition, this week is all about broken. Beatings, betrayal, denial, and a cross. You can’t get much more broken. A mother who has to watch her beloved son die, his body broken and on display; a beloved and trusted friend denying even knowing you; a crowd condemning and wanting blood.
In truth, I don’t want broken. I don’t want death. I don’t want betrayal. I don’t want denial. I don’t want pain. I want to rush to Sunday and the resurrection.
But life doesn’t work that way. Our world is not as it should be. And though we see beautiful glimpses of redemption that startle and amaze us, we still face all that is part of this broken world.
This week is not about platitudes, it is not about trying to rush to the Resurrection. It is about praying in the midst of all that is broken. It is about identifying with the suffering Christ. Only then does the Resurrection become real to us; only then can we grasp the significance and glory of a risen Saviour.
So I sit as one broken – broken by sorrow of death and loss, by pain, by the weight of difficult relationships. And in the silence of the broken I know God is near.
If you are weary of sorrow and pain, if you are face to face with tragedy and death, with the broken bones of a weary world, know that you are welcomed into the arms of God.*