Experiencing the Broken

I caught a glimpse of brokenness.

What I remember most vividly was that she was right-handed; all the scars were on her left arm.

“Nice to meet you,”

It only took the momentary glance that I got as she reached out to shake my hand to notice the dull red lines covering the inner side of her forearm from the wrist all the way up to the elbow.

Brokenness.

I haven’t met many people in person who have or do self-harm–I certainly had never before seen the aftermath firsthand; it blew me out of the moment. I’m not saying it shocked me, per say. It gave me a fresh dosage of the reality of what I’m supposed to be doing here. By here I mean alive.

Because when it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how much you talk, write or think about it. You won’t ever understand the brokenness of people until you see it first hand.

I said you won’t ever understand brokenness until you see it first hand.

I don’t mean whatever pains you went through personally was in vain, that you can’t understand that. We are all broken in some way. But until you see the brokenness in someone’s eyes, behind the daily facades of smiles and pleasantries, until you hear what their heart says over the words their mouth forms…

Have you ever read a dictionary definition of the word facade?

 

fa·cade

 [fuhsahd, fa-] ( I know, I still will say it wrong – don’t bother me  )


noun

Facade
1.
Architecture .

 a. the front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.

 b. any side of a building facing a
public way or space and finished accordingly.
2.a superficial appearance or illusion of something: They managed somehow to maintain a facade of wealth.

Because you’ll never know what’s on the inside of that house unless you go there.
I say this because I don’t really know. All I saw was the scratched paint on the siding. But the more evidence I see of brokenness, and the more of a reality it becomes, the more my heart breaks for the suffering, the afflicted, the broken.
And if your heart doesn’t break for the broken, I can only wonder if you’ve ever understood the brokenness that Christ endured so that the broken could be made whole again.
An unbroken body mutilated to make our self-inflicted wounds whole–to not only piece our hearts back together, but to re-create them entirely.
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5 thoughts on “Experiencing the Broken

  1. Excellent post. I am trying to not hide my scars like I have in the past. I have to know they are part of who I am and are not going away. Somedays I do coverup and other days my strength allows the
    “fake facade” to come down. I wonder what others think of me. Thank you for your kind and caring words.

    1. Thank-you for sharing your heart! I pray for blessing for you in your continued healing (= I also admire your courage for taking that journey; it is not easy or comfortable, but it is worth all the endurance you give it. Eventually we’ll have new bodies, new skin, and no scars to remember this temporary pain by, but we will always have the scars of Jesus to remind us what he sacrificed for this healing journey to even be available to us.
      Thanks for stopping by! I’m glad you found some encouragement here. Don’t quit allowing yourself to heal, and when the opportunity comes, you’ll be able to wear those scars, share your own story and love and encourage others on the same journey (= Take care, and never give up.

  2. This is awesome! The ‘broken’ part really hit home for me last Sunday (the 4th) when my friend’s four-year-old pointed to a scar on my forearm and said, “What’s that?”
    “Just an old owie,” I said. But inside, I felt like I’d been stomped by an elephant. I never thought my arm scars were all that noticeable, but the kid saw them from several feet away. Through the darkish arm hair. :-X

    1. Leave it to the innocence and perception of a child to blow us out of the water every time. Thanks for taking the time to stop by and leave a note, CJ. Not enough people, I think, realize that more often than not we’re exemplifying brokenness to the younger ones–and they notice. But if we could bring ourselves to show them our scars, show them how we have overcome, and teach them to thrive… that would raise up a generation with a whole new face. That’s my dream for my children.

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