Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Broken Pieces

We've been in the process of packing up the kids' rooms to do a little bedroom swap. We've been in this process for a year. Just when we get one kid's room sorted and packed another kid will have started unpacking their room in search of some precious 'lost' item. And in the midst of all the packing and unpacking we've been distracted by vacations and the start of school and the end of school and Christmas and Groundhog Day and lazy Saturdays and busy Wednesdays and all the random chaos life brings. So, its been a year since we've started this process and we still haven't moved one kid or painted one wall.

But still, we're in the process.

Crafty and I have recently started packing up her room ... again. This has required me to step into the Hoarder's Paradise that is her wee den and begin the monumental task of sorting trash from treasure. As we have been tossing scraps of paper and saving assorted glittery bits of girly goodness we have come across tiny bits of broken seashells. The first few I found I threw away but Crafty soon busted me.

"Don't! I need those!"

"Need what?"

"My seashells! They're special to me. They're my collection."

"But these are just the broken pieces, not the whole shells. I won't throw out the whole shells."

"You won't throw out the broken pieces either. They are just as special!"

"But they're broken. You can't even tell what kind of shell they are from and all those sharp edges could hurt someone."

"But they are mine and I can make something new and beautiful out of them."

Well, I couldn't argue with that so as we sorted through her room we began putting the broken pieces in a jar. As we cleaned and sorted her collection of broken pieces grew. The more pieces we added to the jar, the more beautiful her collection became. I didn't notice the sharp edges as much, instead I began to see how the light reflecting off one piece and on to another created the most beautiful shades of pearly pink and watery blue.

We still have a lot of sorting and packing to do in Crafty's room and I'm sure we'll be adding to the collection along the way but it occurred to me, as I looked at the jar of broken pieces, how we are so like those pieces.

Things happen in life, things that chip away at our original shape and beauty. We get hurt and damaged and we end up with a lot of raw, sharp edges and on our own, unprotected we can be dangerous and ugly and seemingly, without value. But all that changes when we are picked up, placed in the protection of a jar and surrounded with other imperfect yet beautiful pieces. We become a collection that reflects and enhances the beauty around us.

Life is messy and people can be unkind but when we choose to live in community with one another anyway, when we choose the risk of relationship over the security of isolation amazing things happen. We gently rub the sharp edges off of each other, we sand down the roughness. We draw out a deeper, richer beauty from each other than we ever possessed alone.

Don't write people off because they're broken. Don't discard them because they are rough around the edges. Don't wait for perfection before you offer friendship ... or accept it. Don't discount your own value because all you see is brokenness.

There is divine beauty in the broken. And there is wholeness to be found in community.

We are all wonderful, beautiful wrecks. That's what connects us--that we're all broken, all beautifully imperfect. 
~Emilio Esteves 

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