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There's Beauty in the Broken

The cool breeze blowing off the ocean is making this day perfect. It’s hot. You’d never know it. Deep blue, turquoise, and green––all the colors of the sea. Breathtaking. The month is coming to an end and we’re about to start our journey back home. Leaving is bittersweet. Watching the sunrise, walking the beach each morning––it’s been therapeutic. Soul care. Self-care. It’s healing. I try to arrive just ahead of the sunrise. Often the colors of the sky are so vibrant just before the sun bursts forth in all its glory. I love to listen to the calming, powerful surf rolling in and out. I watch. My thoughts go right to God––what an artist He is. I realize how small I am. Standing there like a child, I remember His promises to me. As long as this earth remains, the sun will rise each morning and it will set each night. And I rest in that assurance. My heart settles in His faithfulness. I feel safe.

As I was sitting with my coffee and Bible this morning, I was reflecting on my month here and what the Lord has spoken to me. Once again, my thoughts repeated themselves. For days I’ve been ruminating on this phrase: There’s beauty in the broken. One morning, while it was still dark, I woke up all my littles with a plan to take them to see the sunrise and gather shells along the shore. We piled into Hannah’s Sprinter, all eleven of us, and headed for the beach. When feet hit the sand, they were like the wild ponies Marguerite Henry wrote about in her wonderful book, Misty of Chincoteague. They pranced and galloped and raced the tide coming in, squealing with delight.

After a while, some serious shelling began to take place. I watched them as they oo-ed and ahh-ed over the treasures they were finding. As one shell after another was placed carefully in their bags the kids were well on their way to what they needed to make some beautiful shell boxes––our project for the next day. About a half hour into our time together, one of my grandchildren called me over. She opened her bag. I peeked inside. Her gentle face lit up with enthusiasm as she began showing me one shell after another. I marveled at the eye she had finding treasure that no one else had spotted. We declared she had her Bobby Daddy’s eye. But something moved my heart deeply. She began to retrieve some broken shells out of her bag, exclaiming over their beauty. Tears as I write, remembering.

This precious is acquainted with brokenness and has been from a young age. She understands pain. Health issues sustained years ago left her with physical, mental, and emotional challenges. Struggling hard sometimes to make it through the day, she is keenly aware of pain in others. This child is sensitive––kind to everyone. The eyes of her understanding have been opened to suffering, in herself and others. She was teaching me as I watched her turn shell after shell over in her hands. Choosing each one carefully, she views broken shells through a different lens than most. Now… I do, too.

I am a broken woman. Broken when Jesus found me, I was shattered from life’s raw edges and the aftereffects of my foolish choices. But oh, how glorious was the freedom He gave me––salvation and redemption offered and accepted, the price already paid. His life for mine.

Then there’s God-brokenness. So different. The brokenness I experience now is holy. Precious. Brokenness takes on new meaning when we look through a different lens. When we begin to see through God’s eyes, we realize the beauty in His plan. I don’t have to fear what the wind and the waves of life hold. As trials come, I hide myself in the currents of His love and the rough edges are becoming smooth. And I’m coming out with beauty that those who understand brokenness recognize. We understand each other. For that I am grateful.

This treasure of ours remains a beautiful example to our family. Her love, her kindness, her attention showered on ones who others may overlook, speaks volumes. She moved far away from us with her Mama, her Papa, and her sisters. We miss her terribly but rejoice that she is flourishing in her new school and recently was awarded the Integrity Award, chosen out of several classes. She’s radiant. There’s beauty in the broken. I want the Lord to go layers deep within me to show me the significance of this truth. I think He’s doing that. When we’re broken, we see life and others through a different lens. We begin to see with His eyes. What a gift. On this journey together, Deb


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