WEEK FOUR: PEACE IN THE DAWN OF A NEW DAY
The Light of a Glow-stick
Psalm 51:17 (NRSV)
The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
One of my friends was going through a divorce, and I was listening to his heartache and pain. Having been divorced a few years earlier, I vividly recalled the difficult days of grief, guilt and loneliness. My heart hurt for him, and I wished that he didn’t have to face the hurt and sadness of his days. I did my best to reassure my friend that life eventually gets better, that he would one day reach a ‘new normal,’ and that God would resurrect his life.
But I also told him about my special gift from that time when I was facing my divorce: my deep desperation for God. When we deeply know that we are greatly broken- we have failed in our precious marriage and we have thus caused pain to many; when we are embarrassed and humbled because our brokenness is made public and visible to others; and when we know how much we truly need Jesus’ forgiveness, our hearts become so open and ready to receive everything God has to share with us. I am so grateful to have a new life and love, but there are times when I miss being aware of my aching, desperate need for God’s love. I don’t miss those days, but I do miss that desperation.
The truth is, I am still broken. I still need God’s love as desperately as before. I am just not as aware or appreciative of it- my pride and self-reliance tend to grow when life is going well! The glow-stick is a good reminder for me. Glow sticks need to be broken in order to glow. Like a glow stick, we have the potential to glow, but until we recognize our brokenness, we may not fully understand how God alone can help and use us. When we are broken, God’s peace and love can really shine- to heal us and transform us into lights of peace.
God’s peace shines through our brokenness.