Broken yet Whole: A Christian Perspective

Potter modeling a pot on a wheel

potter-with-clayA prophet wants to know how God is going to fix the people who are not living faithful lives.  And he has a dream.  In his dream, God tells him, ‘Go down to the potter’s workshop.  Watch how the potter builds up the clay on the wheel, then when it is not quite perfect, she breaks it down and starts again, working it till she is happy with the result.  Just like the clay in the potter’s hand, so my people are in my hand.’ (Jeremiah 18.1-6)

Not ‘in’ to be broken

Yet, for people of the Bible, being broken is blessed.  How?

Thomas, one of Jesus’ disciples, is not with the others when they see the risen Christ.  He is skeptical.  Jesus appears again.  He doesn’t reject Thomas’ doubt.  Jesus invites Thomas to come forward and touch his wounds.  At this moment, Thomas believes, not just that Jesus has been raised, but he believes who Jesus is.  He says, “My Lord and my God!” No one else in all of the gospel stories addresses Jesus or speaks about Jesus with such a huge claim about who he is. (John 20.19-31)

The reality is that we are all broken.  But this brokenness that you feel, that you may feel at different points in your life, it is met by Jesus’ brokenness and you are given the gift of faith.

Thomas is not cursed with the brokenness of doubt.  In fact, the opposite of faith is not doubt.  Personally, I think the opposite of faith is certainty — the cause of many an evil.  But Thomas’ doubt is blessed by Jesus as Thomas reaches to touch Jesus’ brokenness.

A broken Jesus embraces your brokenness

A smart fellow named Augustine says that the wounds of Christ heal the wounds of unbelief.  Thomas’ faith, and maybe our faith too, doesn’t come from displays of God’s grandeur and might and power.  Christ isn’t a movie-style superhero.   He’s broken.  And that connects with what is broken in us, because when we’re wounded, we don’t have the confidence or the energy or the optimism that we need to reach out to glory and success, but what hurts in us can touch what hurts in God.  And what hurts in God heals with the new life the risen Jesus offers to us.

 

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