When Mike’s wife, Ami, shared a story on Facebook of decorating their Christmas tree. She wrote about Sadie, their daughter, dropping a particular ornament onto another causing one to break and one to crack. Both held special meaning. Reading her post, I cried. In fact, I spent much of December teary-eyed as I thought of those who were suffering. There were some moments I simply could not hold back my tears and so they freely flowed.
The day after I read Ami’s post, my grandson, Mason, ran to get me after I heard a crash in our living room. His two-year-old sister, Emery, had plucked an ornament off of our Christmas tree and now stood wide-eyed over the wreckage. With broom and dustpan in hand, I knelt over the mess, and began picking up the ornament that proudly displayed the year 1988, the year our youngest son was born. Once again tears flooded my eyes as I remembered Ami’s post from the day before. She had written about broken and cracked ornaments, and now I held one. Clearing away the shattered mess of a bulb I tried to think back on the specifics of the year 1988. While we had begun that year with the blessing of a beautiful baby boy, I couldn’t think of anything within the year that shattered me. I have no doubt, however, that between the first of January and December 31st, the year held a few heartbreaks. Doesn’t every year?
Yes. Every year holds a little heartbreak, I am sure of it. But within some, we find ourselves staring at the shattered as the broken and cracked glare back at us. Within the years 1989, 1992, 2003, 2007, 2013 and 2015, I recall the loss of a family member or friend. Each loss shook me, busting me right open. And while these mark human loss, other casualties lie within years past as well: financial, relational, emotional or physical. They might be within yours too-- is it the broken marriage that cracked a family or the broken promise, which cracked trust? Maybe it was the illness causing broken dreams and cracked hope. It all hurts.
As I began picking up the pieces of my broken and cracked ornament, I noticed though the bottom was gone, the top broken, and cracks could be seen throughout, the ornament was still held together by the band around the middle. This ornament would never hang like it used to, but I didn’t need to throw it away. I could display it within the tree; rather than hang it, I’d just set it on a branch.
That’s when I realized in the midst of my broken and cracked moments, I too have been held together by a band. It came in the form of friends who wrapped themselves around me tight, refusing to let go, praying for me as I recovered. I was also held together by the unshakeable promises I discovered through my time in God’s Word. I held tight to His promise that He would never leave me or forsake me and that He indeed, was the God of all comfort (Hebrews 13:5, 2 Corinthians 1:3).
He helped me endure the changes brought on by the broken and cracked, even the ones I resisted and greatly opposed. I’m so thankful they didn’t destroy me, even though, at the time it seemed as though they would. Remember, whenever you're staring at the broken and cracked, you’re still worthy of display. Don’t assume all must be thrown away. Allow God to wrap His band of promises around you and hold tight to verses like Isaiah 61:3 which promise to “….give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of gladness for the spirit of heaviness, that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified” (GNV).
Among the Broken and Cracked seek to Discover the Assurance of Beauty and Comfort.
That He might be Glorified.