Crash! The cute, miniature coffee mug tumbled onto the kitchen floor, and it’s ceramic handle broke into pieces.
The mug and another like it had been a handy portion-control addition to our family’s drinkware. Often, my husband expresses generosity by sharing a sweet drink with our children. Before these mugs arrived as Christmas gifts, his portions often were 6-10 ounces of hot chocolate or fruit juice per kiddo. Now, we had a way to mete out a sweet treat in a 2 ounce size. Genius!
She honestly hadn’t meant to knock it off the kitchen table.As our daughter turned from her accident to my face, I think she could sense my disappointment. The mug was still in tact, but remains of the ceramic handle were jutting out with a dangerous jag. I quickly concluded that it would have to be thrown away. “I’m feeling disappointed. I liked you having those little mugs.”
She must have liked the mugs too. I let the brokenness of reality set in. However, she reached a different conclusion than I had. “Let’s fix it, Mama.”
My ashamedly materialistic outlook was set on a quick disposal: the trash can. I hadn’t even considered gluing the handle pieces back together. However, once we located them, we discovered there were merely 3 pieces. One was a small chip that would be unnecessary to include. The other two were relatively large and could be glued back together like a puzzle.
Although it will never look like new, it still functions as a helpful mug for sweet treats. And, it reminded me that although every thing in this world will break or wear out, that doesn’t mean that automatically the next place for it is the trash can. I can expect brokenness. Yet, what I do with that brokenness, depends on what or who is broken.
I’ve taken some time to reflect further and to realize that according to God’s Word, people are broken too. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Christ-followers in Rome, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The pages of Scripture and the epochs of human experience agree: every person is broken on the inside. Every person harms others around them with their own self-centeredness. Every person does not seek and respond to God like he or she was created to.
We are witnesses of this precept everyday at our home. It might be one of us taking the bigger piece of pizza or pushing ahead of everyone else to get inside when it’s rainy. Or perhaps it’s me sleeping in when Jesus calls me to meet with Him in the silence of 6 am (which I do altogether too often). Every day we see and every day we live out: “Everyone is broken.”
Thankfully, brokenness isn’t the end of our story. Recently, I had been stewing in anxiety during the morning hours. One of our precious children asked me in his own way about why I was anxious. No half-hearted smile can cover over the truth of reality. “Mama is broken too.” It’s a normal part of life here on earth. Yet, we sense inside our hearts that it wasn’t meant to be this way. And, even better, we see inside of God’s Word, especially the end of Revelation, that it won’t always be this way. Someday, our loving Heavenly Father will bind up all the brokenness. Someday, our loving Heavenly Father will heal every heart. Someday, our loving Heavenly Father will restore every one who has surrendered to Him. And they will be set free to be the person they were created to be. And so, we live in the secure hope of that day.