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.*

*from A Broken World Meets an Advent Season

6 thoughts on “Broken

  1. I have been thinking lately about the ways my brokenness, and my husband’s, may have “flavored” the kind of parents we have been, as much as we have deeply desired to always BLESS our sons and daughters, now grown, and some with children of their own. I pray for, beg for, redemption of our every failing…


  2. I want to offer my sympathy, too. Last week, I finally finished putting the photos of my parents into albums, with copious journaling. I started this project in 2003, thinking I would spend a couple of years on maybe 500 photos, but it turned out to be around 2,000 photos and filled 7 fat albums, and it wasn’t something I could take to Pakistan with me to work on (silverfish would have eaten on my photos)! Last Saturday, I relived my father’s final days, his memorial service, and his burial again, while completing my long project. Since then I have been dreaming about him. This afternoon, half awake, I suddenly thought in a panic that I had no food planned for him to eat while I go to a Seder tomorrow. Then I realized I was not in the right year, and came fully awake. I am thankful for the freedom from care when I try to go out to special events, and I am extremely thankful that my father is done with his worn and weary body and is now with his Lord, but I miss him. I don’t normally dream about him, and I rarely cry for him because the Lord gave me great peace for him, but at times something in my life makes me wish I could get his advice or memory on something, and then I have a dream. All of this is partly to offer sympathy and partly to say I hope you all have the same peace, or get it soon, and partly to warn you that dreams and memories will pop up unexpectedly in another year or two. But still look at photos and enjoy special memories!


  3. Brokenness…. we so avoid it and fight against it. But it was in the midst of my most broken moments that I truly met God and felt that I must stop running my life to try and make it right, and start to just trust He could do much better. To truly know I had so little in me to bring life to anything but that He offered life immeasurable freely to me. He has proven faithful and oh so caring and gentle with my soul! May I always welcome broken!

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  4. Marilyn and Cliff—-I’m SO sorry to hear of the death of your mother. Praying comfort and grace for you both.


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