As we said goodbye to our friends on the outdoor terrace, I noticed the clay pots. The pots were big, fat, round, simple pots which had been filled with flowers to overflowing. When I looked closer at the pots, I noticed that these fat pots had huge cracks! The cracks were so big that the pots had almost fallen apart. The only thing holding these clay pots together were metal staples. The staples were allowing the pots to continue to be useful, but, they drew attention to the brokenness of the pot instead of the beauty of the pot.
At some point, these pots had been perfect, without flaw, and without cracks. But, there had been a change in the temperature which created expansion and contraction. You see, clay is porous and in extreme heat or cold it will expand and contract. The pots are very much like us, because in truth we all have gone through trials and tribulations that have made us contract or expand! The question, is have these trials and tribulations resulted in us being broken hearted?
Broken hearted is when we feel hopeless; when the anger bubbles up from our soul. We experience sadness, sleeplessness, a loss of appetite. The grief over our situation overwhelms us. In Hebrew, the word for broken is “shabar” meaning to break, break in pieces. That is how we feel. We feel as if we are in pieces. Just like the clay pot which was being held together with staples, we are hardly holding ourselves together.
King David knew what it meant to be broken hearted, this is what he says in Psalm 31:12, “I am forgotten as a dead man, out of mind; I am like a broken vessel.” One thing that David did well was to turn to the Lord whenever he failed, when friends betrayed him, or when he felt fear. If you are broken hearted like David was in so many of his psalms, here are three things that you can do to restore you back from being broken hearted:
- Grieve- Feel your feelings. Don’t let others rush you through your grieving process. King David was certainly outspoken in voicing how he felt, wasn’t he? Whether you’re dealing with a death, a divorce, a broken friendship, an end to a chapter of your life whatever it is feel your feelings and don’t submerge them.
- Forgive- This is one of the most difficult things to do, but the most important thing to do. You must identify who you think has wronged you. Has God wronged you, has an individual, an institution, or yourself? Identify who you have to forgive and then take steps to forgive them.
- Use your pain- The pain that you have experienced has been difficult and perhaps has almost destroyed you. Use the lessons that your pain has taught you to cover others with compassion, guidance, and prayer. You know how deep the pain has been for you, so recycle your lessons to help others!
There is an interesting Japanese method of repairing broken pottery called Kintsugi (Golden Joinery) which I think is beautiful. In this method pottery is mended by filling the cracks with lacquer dusted or mixed with powdered gold, silver or platinum. The cracks are considered part of the pot’s history, kept visible and not disguised. The idea is that the item is more beautiful because of its flaws. Can I say this again? It is more beautiful because of its flaws!
The Lord knows our flaws intimately, but He sees us as His prized beautiful possession!