Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Broken things

I was driving down M-50 toward church on Sunday and saw a big maple tree that had lost one of it's main branches. The site where the branch ripped out left a big ugly scar and a gaping hole in the tree, which sits in someone's front yard. My first thought was "why don't they cut that down, it looks nasty" but then the Lord began to speak to me.

I began to realize that while the tree was not what it once was, it was still extremely useful. It still provided shade, the gaping hole had birds transiting in and out of it, and probably nesting there, and all sorts of bugs and beetles are probably making that their home. Sure the tree isn't as pretty as it once was, but it still does some things very well.

People are like that too. Some are physically broken, like the tree. They have injuries or a lifetime of trauma that has left their body bent and broken. But they still have value and can add to the church and community with their contributions.

Others are emotionally or spiritually broken, and their wounds are not always obvious. But they are real. And we have to take them into account when dealing with people. I have not always been good at this, but it is an area where the Lord is working in my life right now.

By nature I am a pusher. I keep moving and prod people to keep moving. But I sometimes push too hard for where people are at that moment. The Spirit has been good to me lately in letting me know when to ease up, and I've been trying hard to listen.

Let's celebrate the broken things. Let's fix what we can, use what we can, throw away what we must and celebrate what we have. God uses broken things, and broken people. So can his church.

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