Hope for the Broken

It was late at night. I’d remembered (as happened all too often) something I needed for the next morning, so I had left the children in bed at home and headed for the store.

It was mid-summer, and dark, and as I drove something in front of me caught my attention out of the corner of my eye. Ahead on the sidewalk something was moving, but it seemed unusual, so I slowed slightly to see what it could be.

As I drew closer, suddenly I understood my confusion. Someone was jogging along the sidewalk, but it wasn’t your usual runner. His gait was uneven, and in the light of my headlights I could see why – he had what appeared to be an artificial leg and arm. My heart was instantly flooded with a myriad of feelings…sadness, respect, compassion, and honor.  Sadness that he had experienced whatever had left him ‘broken.’ Respect for one with the self-mastery required to do hard things that require sacrifice and even cause pain now, but that lead to a greater end. Compassion for one whose challenge is so obvious, yet who goes about his business unhindered by what others may think or say.  And honor for another human being making the best with what he’d been given – even though, obviously, it was less-than-ideal.

I spoke with a student recently who said she felt “broken.” I understood. I think most of us could consider ourselves broken to some extent. We may have had a challenging childhood. We may have endured abuse. We might have lost a loved one, or a limb, or a life-long dream. We may have a broken heart, when we feel there is no hope for happiness for us, ever again.

Any of those – or a thousand other difficulties – can leave wounds that affect our ability to progress or to find peace and joy in life.

For many years I tried to hide my ‘broken-ness.’ I felt so unworthy, so inadequate because I was so aware of all the imperfections within, and could see no hope of ever overcoming them because they seemed so insurmountable.

But I’ve learned better. I’ve learned that there truly is One who can heal us. He may not restore a limb, or bring back that loved one, but if we expose our weakness, and plead for His help, He can give us the strength to carry on, and He can fill our hearts with love once more. He can open our eyes to the beauty of each moment, and He can give us hope for goodness yet to come.

We just need to ask…and keep going. We may be broken. But there is a Healer nearby, waiting for us to seek Him out, and he will be our Companion as we walk the road toward wholeness.  That is why He came. * It is His work. And if we allow Him, His work will bless our lives, now, and for all eternity. 

* Isaiah 61:1 “…he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”

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