I’ve come to realize I don’t really like broken things. I have a strong urge to fix them …immediately! If something was made to work a certain way, then work a certain way it should. Anything less is …well, irritating. Somewhere in the idealistic-perfect-wanna-be-world of my mind, things are made to continue doing what they were made to do …forever.
Unfortunately, everything breaks. Things break. People break. Relationships break. Dreams break. Hearts break.
Through the recent journey of my Mom’s last few months and watching her take her last breath here on earth, my heart feels like it has broken into a thousand pieces. In the shattered mess of it all, it seems there are broken parts spilled out all over the floor… impossible to even find all the missing parts– let alone sweep it up and glue it all back together.
They call this “grief” and while everyone grieves differently, mine has taken on many different shapes of many broken pieces …some pieces I recognized; others came as a surprise.
It’s as if the grief of my Mom’s death created a wound so deep that many other wounds–buried long ago– were simultaneously cracked open to join the grieving band that had begun to play. Surprisingly, other deep-seated wounds began aching and bleeding all over again –wounds of rejection and losses– leaving feelings of …self-pity …feeling left out …unimportant …unnoticed …over-sensitive to the words and actions of others …over-looked …comparing responses given to others. This list is not only embarrassing to admit but, quite honestly, very depressing.
Turns out, when your emotional immune system is compromised, you’re susceptible to many other emotional viruses and diseases.
My heart and soul had undergone some kind of major surgery with no visible scar but plenty of emotional scars leaving my emotional immune system at zero to low functioning. What I began to see first hand was when emotional capacity levels get so overwhelmed, anxiety floods in over even the simplest of tasks! Preparing food, washing dishes, helping others …what if I break something, lose something, disappoint somebody? All the what if’s can join together to create a paralyzing fear.
I find myself wanting to say to people, “I’m just all broken up! I have no capacity to do normal things and work through relationships and mature things like that. The processing and emotions are all broken and haven’t been fixed yet. There are missing parts I still can’t find!”
But then Sunday came …
and with that day of worship, came the celebration of communion…the Lord’s supper, as it’s often called. My husband led the service that day and prompted us in reflection to prepare us to “receive” communion. I’ve heard the verses and phrases associated with this so many times I often go into “auto-pilot” and nod a “yes …yes” on all that is said but one verse — one phrase– seemed to hang out there and I found myself clinging to that “old rugged cross” with all my might.
“This is my body, which is broken for you…”
Did Jesus just say His body was broken? …for me!? Flipping back in my mind in the pages of Scripture brought the verse to mind: “Not one of His bones will be broken…” (John 19:36 NIV) Comparing Scripture to Scripture and facts from the crucifixion account, there was absolutely a lot of anguish and pain and suffering. There were wounds so deep His heart could not sustain the loss but there were no broken bones …”These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: not one of His bones will be broken.” (John 19:36 NIV).
The Holy Spirit seemed to speak to me … Jesus felt that brokenness that I feel right now. He was broken in spirit … His heart was broken. He felt the brokenness of pain and suffering and shame and anguish of soul and broken emotions and broken relationships and a broken heart.
And then these words from Isaiah 53 came to mind …
“He was despised … rejected …a man of suffering …familiar with pain …we held Him in low esteem…
Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering…
…He was pierced for our transgressions …crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.”
(words from Isaiah 53 NIV)
And I began to see how Jesus was broken …broken with pain and suffering, punishment … despised, rejected, crushed, pierced. All the emotions I’ve felt and all the emotions you have felt were laid on Him. All the sins I’ve committed … all the sins you’ve committed were put on Him and it absolutely broke His heart but He took all of the pain and suffering and sin on Himself for me …for you. He felt all of our pain and agony and wrongs we’ve done and wrongs done to us and “He carried our sorrows” all the way to the cross …all the way to death …for me and for you!
He understands our broken hearts because He had one as well! He experienced something in all of that for me …for you!
All these years I’ve heard that but never understood it. It wasn’t bones that were broken but something of deeper wounds that can’t be easily “set” or “fixed”. He took all of that — ALL of it– for me …for YOU. You see, you can never fully understand someone else’s pain unless you have personally felt it …experienced it within yourself. Jesus did just that …He experienced the brokenness so He could not only carry our sorrows, but feel our sorrows.
In communion, Jesus asks us to commune with Him and remember …remember what He went through by the breaking of bread …the tangible broken. He then took the bread, broke it and passed it out to others to join in and experience His broken body. Shared brokenness. Shared remembering. Shared comfort.
We break the bread, dip it in the wine representing His blood poured out as a life-giving transfusion and rescue for us …and remember. We remember and therefore we have hope! Hope and assurance that in remembering that because He was once broken as well … He knows …He understands… He feels our pain …He carried our deepest sorrows …and most miraculously, His Spirit intercedes for us with groanings we cannot even understand. (Romans 8:26-27 NLT)–He prays for me. He prays for you!
In this truth, I have hope. I’m far from being completely healed. I’m still broken and bleeding but I take hope in knowing Jesus understands. He feels my pain. He has already carried it and He will continue to carry me. With this hope, I “believe and therefore speak…” (II Corinthians 4 NIV) …speak truth to me and truth to you as well.
A prayer for us …
“Lord Jesus, thank You for helping us in our weaknesses. Thank You for carrying our sorrows yesterday, today and tomorrow. Thank You for being broken for us so that You could fully experience our suffering. Continue to give us hope and healing through the power of Your name, Jesus Christ. We look to You alone as our Forever Friend and Healer. As we receive the bread to remember Your body –broken for us, may we also receive Your love –broken and spilled out for us! Thank You for Your love. Thank You for understanding …We trust You to put the pieces back together again.
In Jesus’ name we pray…”