Reflections on 2014
"I am one moronic act away from OD-ing on Stupid."
"I'm suffering from random acts of stupid."
I've said other things, but to my shame, these have been my favorite. In all honesty they are pretty funny, and in the moment, they made me laugh at what I was experiencing. Not a bad thing, really. The problem comes in when instead of temporary levity, these thoughts become my focus.
Eventually, I do literally drown in the stupid and fail to see any beauty and hope.
We live in a broken world. My family is made up of broken people who have been shattered and hand selected to be lovingly pieced back together by our Heavenly father.
A popular trend on Facebook right now for the new year is to select a word to focus on. One friend (forgive me, I don't remember exactly who) brought up the word KINTSUGI. I was fascinated by it. It represents my family so very well:
Kintsugi Art Metaphor: "Mending Broken Pottery With Gold"
What Can We Learn From a Broken Teapot?
What Can We Learn From a Broken Teapot?
Kintsugi, as the practice is known, gives new life or rebirth to damaged or aging ceramic objects by celebrating their frailty and history. One can consider how we might live a kintsugi life, finding value in the cracks, missing pieces and chips – bringing to light the scars that have come from life experiences, finding new purpose through aging and loss, seeing the beauty of 'imperfection' and loving ourselves, family and friends despite flaws.
It is undeniably true that the shattering that each of my dear children have suffered has hurt them far more than I can imagine. The weight of what I know crushes me some days and the residual affects are present daily, but the beauty of who they are becoming is even more evident to me and miraculous to behold.
Sometimes I am blinded by it.
His love and mercy overwhelm me as my heart is broken and pieced back together over and over as the Holy Spirit mends me and makes me more like Jesus.
But most of my children cannot see it. Where I am overcome by the beauty out of ashes, they can only see the ashes. Some can only see the ashes because the beauty has only just begun to be created. Others have blatantly rejected the beauty and cling to the ashes. They blame God that they were ever broken in the first place. As if it were somehow HIS fault that man sinned, and the fact that Jesus was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, beaten so we could be whole, whipped so we could be healed (Isaiah 53:5 NLT) has no significance.
I SHOULD NOT HAVE BEEN BROKEN IN THE FIRST PLACE.
You know what?
You are right.
You should not have been broken in the first place, but you were.
1 Peter 2:24 (NASB)
and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed.
Jesus is the gold that was melted and poured out, a spiritual act of Kintsugi so that we could be made whole.
When I so quickly take my eyes off of the marvelous beauty of His grace made so evident in my very own home and focus on the ashes, all the STUPID that has gone into their brokenness, how can I be incredulous that my children have done the same?
Lord Jesus, I repent. My pride, my arrogance, my foolish assumption that I am the one in control of the Kintsugi of my children's souls. How quickly I am distracted by the ashes that blind me to your loving, healing, hand.
Friends, please join me this year. There is a spiritual battle for the hearts and minds of my children. It is fierce and relentless. I am weary of it. Please pray over my children by name whenever you think of us. their names are: Samantha and my son-in-law Ashraf, Biruk, Sveta, Hanna, Andy, Alex, Alina, Mel, Vika, and Dasha. Leave your children's names in the comments and I will do the same for you.
And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart.
Please pray this for me as well.
For 2015 I pray that God's blessings not be hidden in the ashes this year and that you never lose focus of His glorious beauty poured out over you.