Have you ever wondered why people walk into old houses and say, “Oh, the stories it could tell?”
Why a scuffed and worn patina makes an antique so much more valuable? Why you walk past the long scratch on your living room doorframe and remember falling and knocking out a tooth and your frantic mother rushing you to the emergency room?
It’s because our stories are in the broken parts of our lives.
It survived the long trip with me to England, where I made mugs of mint tea to get me through a long, hard year. I’ve sipped homemade hot chocolate from it on cold winter nights and talked to my mom about life.
And then, as my best friend and I were headed upstairs from an evening curled up on the couch, laughing and watching Dr. Who, the mug slipped from my hand and shattered on the concrete floor.
I was devastated.
It’s just a mug. I know that. But to me, it’s been so much more. And even if my wonderful dad (who’s glued more toy horse legs than he or I can count) can patch it back together again, it’ll never be the same.
And then it hit me. That’s okay. Because every time I see the faint lines where it’s been glued back together, I’ll remember a peaceful night of laughter with my best friend. I’ll remember giggling with her and tip-toeing around the shattered, broken pieces, picking them up together in hopes that what was broken could be remade.
Just like that, the jagged scars of broken pieces become part of the story of that mug, and by extension, part of my story.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could learn a new way of seeing, where new and perfect isn’t always best? Where the broken people are the most beautiful because the scars on our bodies and the scars on the soul just mean our Daddy has picked us up and put us back together again and added another chapter to our story?
We look at the elderly and our eyes trace the lines on their faces, the breaking down of the body from the hard wear of life, and the lines become a part of telling their story. And because the breaking down shapes their story, the lines and scars suddenly become beautiful.
I’ve always looked at brokenness as a bad, ugly thing. And maybe it is. But maybe it’s those broken parts of our story, the hard parts, the bits where we hurt and wanted to give up – maybe that’s what makes our story beautiful?
So if you’re here with me today, tip-toeing around the shattered pieces of your life, wondering how what was once beautiful can ever be put back together again, consider this.
It’s the broken in your story that makes it beautiful. The jagged edges that cut deep testify to a loving Father who can put the pieces back together again.
If I can embrace the broken, hurting edges of my life, of my past, maybe God can make the story He’s telling with my life – and yours – even more deep and rich and meaningful and beautiful.
Even with all the broken bits.