Moving Beyond Brokenness
Good morning from Managua, Nicaragua!
A couple of weeks ago I was reminded of a phrase that has played an important role in my life over the past few year, and even more so since I have come to Nicaragua – Your brokenness is not the truest thing about you. The reality of brokenness in this world and my life is not hard to see. In fact, I reinforce the fact that I am a broken person on a daily basis. Living in Nicaragua it does not take long for me to find evidence of something that just does not seem right. The truth is it does not take long to find the same evidence in the United States. From poverty to abuse to hatred, we very clearly live in a broken world.
In my experience, the brokenness that we live with every day can be a bit overwhelming, so much so that we can begin to believe it is the only reality. As we walk through life, we become numb to the broken aspects of our world and decide that they can never change. Not to say that we do not try to help in some way, but more that we believe our helping can only provide momentary relief to a wound that will never heal. This same thing happens in our own lives. The fact that we are broken people is constantly bolstered by the less than commendable choices, thoughts, and actions we do each day. It is also made clear by the setbacks that inevitably come when we try to move forward in life. All of this can lead us to believe that our current broken state is who we truly are and that expending significant energy on improving is worthless. Personally, I have certainly fallen into this way of thinking at various points in my life. In Nicaragua, I often deal with the consequences that come with believing things can never change. What if, however, this is not the whole story? What if there is hope in the midst of the brokenness?
In one of Paul’s letters to the church in Corinth he wrote, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed us to the message of reconciliation.” (2 Corinthians 5:17, NIV) Your brokenness is not the truest thing about you. In Christ there is hope for change, not only for ourselves but also for the world around us. We are still broken, but we have the opportunity to be made new in Christ and for God to see us as he created us to be, perfect. This means despite the reality of our current brokenness, in Christ we are no longer that person. In Christ, we are new creations and have the ability to grow into the person God intended to create. Does that mean we can be perfect here on earth? Probably not, but it does mean the broken person we view ourselves as is no longer who we truly are. When we live into this way of life there is hope for real change. When a group of people begin to believe this is true they can change their community, their nation, and maybe even the world.
I have seen this contrast in Nicaragua and in the United States. The people who understand the truth of these words can see the hope in the midst of the brokenness and believe things can be different. Those who can only see the brokenness buy into the lie that things can never change. Which will you be today?
– James Belt