I feel broken. That level of brokenness varies, but there’s always some part of it there. Chances are, we all feel that way deep down at times. If you deny that about yourself, I would think one of two things. Either you’re not honest with yourself, or you’re trying to put up a false front.
I wouldn’t say that I’m a huge Beetles fan, but I really do like some of their songs. One of my favorites of theirs is Eleanor Rigby. I was first drawn to it because it’s one of those songs that fits well with my voice. However, there is a line of that song that has stuck with me since I was in high school.
“Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door.”
How powerful, and how true that is of so many of us. We feel like we have an emptiness, a brokenness that comes from within our very soul. It’s that feeling that can give us an overwhelming sense of loneliness while surrounded by a hoard of people. Yet we want to put on this face that hides the way we really feel. Why do we do that? Are we afraid that others will think we are weak? Are we afraid that others will look down on us? I think it has more to do with the fact that we think we are the only one.
In John Maxwell’s book Developing the Leader Within You, one of the chapters focuses on the character of a leader and the essentiality of being authentic. You can’t lead others if they don’t see the real you. Sometimes that means dropping the act and letting others see of glimpse of our brokenness. That may sound like a bad quality to you, but listen to an excerpt that he included on page 60 of the book, a passage from the blogger Rosalina Chai:
“Mosaic is at once intricate yet majestic. And it is precisely its brokenness that lends mosaic its perception of fragile beauty…And isn’t this true too of our humanity?…What is it about brokenness that we find so offensive?
What would happen when we accept and embrace that being broken is an essential part of humanity’s be-ing? What would happen when we cease to label brokenness as bad? What would it take for us to cease labeling brokenness as bad? I can imagine one certainty…more peace.
Accepting and embracing brokenness is not the same as using another’s brokenness to feel better about ourselves. Rather, it is an acknowledgment of our common humanity. When I accept my own brokenness, and do not judge myself harshly because of it, I find myself capable of more compassion towards others regardless of whether I am aware of the form of brokenness they’ve experienced.”
The Holy Spirit left us with a plethora of passages that speak about the brokenness of mankind and how God reacts to it. Take these as examples:
“When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” [Psalm 34:17-18]
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” [Psalm 147:3]
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” [II Corinthians 12:9-10]
God does not look down on us due to our brokenness. On the contrary. He longs to comfort us as His children. He also wants us to care for and comfort each other (Galatians 6:2). We can’t do that unless we are willing to allow others a glimpse into the mosaic of ourselves that we try to keep hidden. Only when we allow others to see that in us will we be able to accept the fact that it exists in everyone, at which point we can begin to comfort and encourage others in the way that God expects.