We live in a world where things that are broken are worthless. In our disposable society, broken items are quickly tossed instead of being repaired. And even the very definition of "broken" is stretched to include things that don't perform as we would like or are outdated.
Sadly, the same holds true for people. Society dictates that we must be perfect. Not just healthy, but beautiful. Not just smart, but brilliant. And anyone who is "broken" must be fixed. And those who cannot be fixed should be thrown away. Thus the tragic statistic that 90 percent of babies who have Down Syndrome or other chromosomal "abnormalities" are aborted. Thus the heartbreaking reality that orphanages are full of special needs and older children who wait for families.
As we started this new adoption, we weren't sure about much. We weren't sure what country we would adopt from, what age child, what gender. Our only certainty was that this child would be, by the world's definition, broken.
We completed a check-list of needs we would consider. We talked at length with our other children about the possibility of having a child in our home who may never walk, or see our faces, or hear our voices, or live to adulthood. Needs that several years ago would have overwhelmed us are now needs that we are prayerfully considering.
We are different today because we understand the blessing of brokenness. It happened in the year 2004 with the loss of our first son then the loss of my mom. I had known brokenness before, but not to that extent. My level of hurt prior to that year rendered me "walking wounded." But the pain of 2004 completely crippled me to where I wasn't sure if I'd ever be whole again.
But that was the year that the Almighty Shepherd scooped me up and carried me upon the safety of His shoulders. Just like the beautiful illustrations I had seen as a child, I felt like that lamb draped around my Savior's neck. It was then that I was able to see that being broken hadn't brought me to a place of hopelessness, but a place of privilege.
When I think of the dearest people I know, there is usually a chapter in their life that they were carried by their Heavenly Father during a time of profound brokenness. Some of the most inspiring people who have walked the earth have endured times of trial yet glorified God through their brokenness caused by life-altering illness, the horrors of a concentration camp, religious persecution, and family tragedy. Every hero of the faith--that I've known personally or read about in history--seems to have spent much of their life in full surrender to the One who can heal every wound.
So perhaps that's why we've been so excited as we do the paperwork for this adoption and see our homestudy written to approve us to adopt a child with special needs. I can't wait to see what God has planned for the life of this child and feel honored to be able to witness His healing hand at work and His sovereign plan unfold.
The verse I'm meditating on this week (sorry I didn't get it posted in time for Sunday Dinner) is:
"The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their cry;
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."
Psalm 34:15-18, NIV
This week's dessert of song is Jeremy Riddle's "Sweetly Broken."
May we remember the One who was sweetly broken for us. (One of my first posts about brokenness and Christ's love for us is here.)