“Oh Mom, look at how big this one must have been! It’s so pretty!” my daughter exclaims as she opens her palm to show me a broken seashell.
Doesn’t my daughter see the brokenness? Can’t she see the beautiful colors and shapes of the unbroken shells on the sand?
Like the Master, my daughter sees beauty in brokenness. She sees the beauty in what is before her, brokenness and all. Shells that have fought through the raging waves and battered against the shores, finally to end up in pieces on the sand.
I know it shouldn’t bother me so much that she wants to keep the broken shells she finds on the beach.
But it does.
I don’t want a collection of broken shells.
Unlike my daughter, I don’t want to embrace the brokenness because I long to be whole.
Was I ever whole?
Before the brokenness of my childhood?
The failed marriage.
The wrong choices that left me feeling worse about myself instead of better?
I long to make up for the brokenness by finding perfection.
If I cannot be perfect then I want to surround myself with things that seem perfect.
In doing this I sometimes miss the beauty that is there, because I’m too focused on the imperfections that I wish weren’t there.
My daughter’s focus is solely on what is before her.
And she is grateful.
She doesn’t wish for something that is not there while discarding what is.
She sees the beauty in what I consider broken and worthless.
She sees the beauty through the cracks and the missing pieces.
Just like the Master, the very Creator of the shells I collect on the beach with her.
And sometimes I forget that I am His Creation too.
He sees the beauty in my brokenness.
Psalm 16:7-9 “I bless the Lord who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.”
Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Psalm 34:7 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Like the Master I am starting to find beauty in brokenness.
I loosen my grip on desiring ‘the perfect.’
I allow parts of myself to be broken away.
And suddenly I begin to feel whole.