It is nine days into the New Year and I’m just now packing Christmas decorations. Thirty-two years of Christmas past can’t be shoved thoughtlessly into a closet.
Round, colored ornaments go into boxes with individual slots that resemble egg cartons. Hand-made ornaments and souvenirs, that look ordinary to any stranger’s eyes, are swaddled in tissue paper and placed in protective plastic bins ….accompanied by family memories I revisit every year.
I also collect nativity sets that require special handling. My favorite one was purchased in 1981 B.C. (before children) when my husband and I first moved to California. The figurines are wide-eyed children, forever young, although there are signs of aging: Joseph’s broken staff, the angel’s missing halo, and the shepherd boy’s glue-filled cracks.
When the Shepherd fell off the mantle, years ago, I glued him back together like Humpty Dumpty with the exception of a hole that remains in the back of his head. Nobody notices. We have to get close to see the scars and know he’s BROKEN.
I’ve been broken more than once. Have you…………..
Ever felt brokenhearted over the death of a loved one, or by the betrayal of someone who “supposedly” loved you?
Ever been like King David who felt alone, “forgotten …like a broken vessel?” (Psalm 31:12)
Has chronic pain, anxiety, or depression given you a “broken spirit that dries the bones?”(Proverbs 17:22)
Nobody notices. We have to get close and personal to see the scars and know someone’s BROKEN.
Psalm 147:3 says “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” Sounds patronizing, but I know His Word is true. Three miscarriages in a row taught me to rely on the Lord to bind up my wounds from a broken spirit, and show me I could trust Him even in this.
God restores broken lives, but brokenness is a good thing when it makes us aware of sin and leads us to repentance. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” (Psalm 51:17)
Before I wrap the Shepherd boy like a mummy and place him in a box, I put the tip of my index finger into the hole on his head.
Thoughts trigger. Wasn’t it Thomas who insisted on putting his finger into the holes on Jesus’ nail-scarred hands? The apostle refused to believe in the resurrected Christ unless he also put his hand into the hole on Jesus’ side (John 20:24-28). And when this proof came, Thomas cried out, “My Lord, and My God.”
Tears spill on my cheeks, “Lord, life is hard, forgive me when I doubt your love and goodness. Your ‘body was broken for me’ (1 Cor. 11:24) and that is all the reason I need to bring you praise.
With that happy thought, I wrap tissue paper around the broken Shepherd boy and place him in a box, to rest in the coming year next to Jesus.