She showed me her mosaic. It was beautiful.
The colors, the careful placement of each broken piece… sealed into its new place, its new home.
As she held it up, another friend shared a story.
“When I was young, my mom would get really upset if we accidentally broke a dish. As I became an adult myself, I found that same anger rise up in me if one of my dishes or fragile pieces was broken. But then one day I visited a friend and I accidentally broke one of her plates.
She exclaimed, ‘Blessing!’
‘It’s a blessing that you are in our home. If you were not here with us, this dish would be untouched. But this is evidence of our friendship and your gift of joining us today. It’s a blessing.’”
Naturally, my friend was stunned. But it opened her eyes to a new way of looking at a broken dish.
“Now when a dish breaks, I think, ‘Great! More pieces for my next art project!’
I was convicted. How often I grumble (if not out loud, then internally) when one of my kids breaks a dish. This summer, while house sitting, we broke three glasses, a bowl, and a plate. (Don’t worry, we replaced them).
My first thought is NOT “Blessing!” and it’s not “Yay! More pieces for my next art project!”
And I wish it were. It reminds me how simply a mindset determines how we respond to a situation.
I reluctantly left the beautiful art piece behind and made my way home, the words of my friend sinking into the soft places of my heart.
That following week, I began to realize how shattered I felt.
I have had a rough year.
I have also had a beautiful year.
But the rough parts have taken their toll. I felt as if every time I moved, a piece of myself broke off and fell to the ground. I sank to my knees, gathering the pieces close to that no passerby would further crush my shards. I’d lean forward to gather a piece, and another would fall off behind. I’d lean back to scoop it up, only to have three or four more fall from all around.
I felt defeated. Helpless. Hopeless.
Pieces of me just kept colliding with the ground and I didn’t have the energy or the amount of arm space to keep them all in place. So I sat in the heap of myself while feet tromped all around.
I didn’t care anymore.
Fine, crush them.
Oh, I’m not good enough for…? Clink.
I missed another important detail? Clunk.
I didn’t handle that situation right? Clank.
I sat with knees drawn in, head tucked, concerned no longer with my crumbling soul.
Then I heard a whisper.
“Let’s make a mosaic.”
The image of my friend’s beautiful art piece came back to me.
It’s beauty strewn from broken pieces of pottery. Pottery that I’m sure was once beautiful… but even more so NOW.
Can it be? Can broken pieces be made more beautiful AFTER their broken?
My friend wrote a beautiful article on just this (coming January)… on how God reimagines and repurposes our broken things. Well, with me, He’s got a lot of material. We could make a world of mosaics.
He is the Grand Master of Creativity. He is the Mosaic Maker if I’ve ever seen one. He takes broken things and makes them beautiful again… more beautiful than before.
I haven’t seen my finished mosaic yet, but I’ve given Him the pieces.
And for the first time in a long time, I feel hope. I see possibility. I see a hand from Heaven working carefully, repositioning, re-gluing… sometimes even re-breaking, to get just the perfect piece for that perfect spot.
And when another shard of my soul falls to the ground, I hear, “Blessing!” And He scoops it up and finds its place in His masterpiece.
It’s okay to have my pieces fall. It’s okay. I don’t have to scurry to pick them up, to try to pin them back or staple them together… He’s got a plan and it’s big and beautiful.
And in fact, like my friend who sees a new broken dish as supply for her next art project, I’m beginning to see my brokenness as supply for His.
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”