broken bones

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My mom and dad are in the process of selling their house.  My dad is notorious for trying to sneak things into the car as you pull away from their house.  On a few occasions, he has even had the audacity to give away things of mine without my permission. Humph, working on forgiving him for that.  On the other hand, I would call my mom the “sentimental type”.

 

My dad has been sending me home with small boxes for about the last year and a half. This man is on a mission to de-clutter.

 

He has snuck some treasures into those boxes.  He doesn’t talk much about his time in the army, but I’ll tell you what, the man learned to pack during his time of service!  It’s some type of Guinness’ world record the amount of stuff he can fit into a small box.

 

As a result of my father, Mr. De-clutter, and my mother, Sentimental Sharon, I’ve made it back to California with some real treasures as of late.  Seriously, I am talking teeth in envelopes!  Have I mentioned I am the baby of four children?

 

There may not be many pictures of me.  (It’s more like oh there’s Anna back there in her baby swing in the background.)  A few years back, I couldn’t find my baby album, then I discovered my baby pictures gently shoved into the front of my sisters. My dad compassionately made me a baby album, before my next visit home.

Hey what’s wrong with making a baby album 25 years later?

 

And don’t you wish you were a fly on the wall when the tree farmer made me a baby album?

 

I sound bitter, but really I am not.  They loved me fiercely, and most of this is just joking.  My mom was probably trying to hold me just a little longer rather than peeling back the sticky papers of a baby album.

 

We did a lot of snuggling, and that is worth more than a thousand “baby albums” to me. I logged a lot of hours on the back swing with my dad that he still owns to this day.

{This was us on that swing on my wedding day.}

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So, besides the envelopes with hair and teeth, my dad snuck in my cast from when I broke my foot when I was one year old.   {Compassionate people insert you, “ah” here.}

 

It’s a little pink cast that was in my mom’s nightstand as long as I can remember.  My sweet older brother was carrying me down the stairs after my nap one day, and he missed a step.  You know what happened next.   Little Anna who had just learned how to walk broke all four bones on the top of her little baby foot.

 

More than a sad story, the cast reminds me that broken things can heal.  I have no long-term effects or even memories of breaking my foot. I am sure I cried crocodile tears and maybe even screamed. They took me to the doctor, and he put that cast on so that my foot would heal.

 

I am reminded of this verse in Psalm 34, “The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers him from them all”.  There is no situation beyond His redemption.  There is no brokenness, sickness, or pain beyond His reach. He is the Healer.

 

One touch from Him changes everything.

 

It is not self-effort that brings healing.  I couldn’t just “walk-off” my broken foot.  I needed to see the physician.  The same goes for us when we experience brokenness.  The longer we hide, the more we push Him away.  He is our solution.  He longs to be close to the broken.  He longs to make all things new.   He longs to make us whole.

 

Don’t be like Adam and Eve and try to hide from the Creator.  Don’t let shame hold you back for the healing that is in His eyes.

 

Be real with Him, He can handle it.  I promise.

Contrite. {a God of the broken}

Did you know that contrite means “crushed”?  The prophet Isaiah tells us that God, in his high lofty place is close to the contrite.  One definition says broken into many pieces. 

            God is not afraid of our brokenness. 

            Sometimes people are.

            There are moments when I wish I could transport back to Hebrew culture in Jesus day.  It probably wouldn’t be too long before I’d be ready to return to the modern age, and things like air conditioning, warm showers, and flushing toilets.  Yet there something about Hebrew culture that I long for in our modern society.

            They were okay with brokenness.

            They were okay with grief.

            They didn’t try to push their way through loss.

            They understood that it’s about a process and not perfection.

            In our society today, ESPECIALLY the church it can be all about being okay.  “I’m fine,” we often say, while our heart silently screams another answer.  We tell our children “you’re okay” the moment they crash their bike.  I have to wonder why are we so afraid of not being okay. 

And what does it even mean to “be okay’. 

What are we saying? 

What are we communicating to our hearts? 

Does pull yourself up by your bootstraps really apply here?

I’ll be honest; there is a big fat “guilty” sign over me for this one.  I am fine.  I actually specialize in “fine”.  I pride myself in being steady, reliable, and dependable.

And that right there is where the problem is.  Pride.  I can do it.  I don’t need you.  I don’t want to need you.  Oh wait, what about God?  What kind of gospel am I preaching (to myself)?  It’s the gospel of self-sufficiency.  It’s a gospel that says I’ve got this under control. 

The truth is that’s never been my job.

A few years back I read two books by Andrew Murray, Humility and Absolute Surrender.  {READ THEM}  His books always have a way of convicting me into the place of freedom.  It’s all about His sufficiency.  A gospel about my sufficiency is really no gospel at all.  Apart from Him, I am completely and utterly insufficient, and God is completely okay with that. 

He’s been reminding me lately that He’s secure.  He doesn’t mind spending time with those who are broken into pieces.  In fact, He takes delight in it.  He is the God of redemption, who isn’t afraid of our lack.  He has a solution for every problem.  He has healing for every disease.  He has redemption for everything that’s been stolen.  He has restoration for everything that’s fallen apart; in fact it’s His specialty.

Don’t try to hide your brokenness and pain.  Be honest with it.  Tell the Lord.  Let Him heal the deep places of your soul.  He cares about your heart.  You are worth it.  He wants to make you whole.

Part II coming… {loving the broken}