Tuesday, August 02, 2005

more than bent

There are different kinds of brokenness, or levels of brokenness.
There is the broken that we are whether we know it or not (though most do not feel whole). We are born with this brokenness. We are broken like a toy with its wheels fallen off. We need fixed. Born in sin, unreconciled, unredeemed, unrelated. This is the common brokenness about which I spoke.
Other levels of brokenness must be realized by the broken. Or maybe, rather than levels, they are just different conditions for which we use the same term.
Pieces on the ground. This brokenness still does not necessarily mean that the broken has realized the way to be mended. And he may never be mended.
Surrendered (broken will): this is kinda the way a horse is broken. He decides it is better to submit to the will of his owner. He may or may not need to be broken (pieces on the ground) to reach this point. The point of breaking a horse is surely to break the will, but not the spirit. This is the brokenness that God desires in us. He never wants us to be broken in pieces on the ground, and I think it is bad theology to think that could be a methodology of God to bring us to submission.
I can't prove this, but I guess that pieces on the ground brokenness always comes from a hand other than God's, and is a result of the first and deepest level of brokenness I mentioned, that common brokenness from my post. God doesn't beat us down to gain our submission, he OFFERS us a mending for our brokenness. Many of us don't fully take him up on this offer until broken in pieces on the ground, but that doesn't mean that God broke us to pieces in order to get us to accept his offer.
The pieces on the ground state is a result of all the stuff that the adversary uses to keep us broken. They dogpile, and we are shattered. These are the things that cause us to try to feed them, or believe that if some something were different, we would no longer feel broken. They are the things that obscure our knowledge of the cause. We continually try to find the something that could be different and make us feel better.
Nearly everyone with whom you try to offer the mending feel contempt for those who've been mended. "you just don't understand how hard I have it." We always think that our situation is worse than the next guy’s. He has been mended because he wasn’t as broken as me. Or he hasn’t needed mending, because he was never broken. But we forget that we are all broken.
This is exhibited in our view of the important and well as the superficial. We view those whom we consider to be spiritual giants and have no idea with what they struggle moment by moment, or how deeply they struggle. We view thin people and have no idea how many hours of exercise or what disciplined dieting and sacrifice of pleasure is required to keep them thin. We always assume that we are the only ones struggling, indeed at this level, and that everyone else comes by it naturally, and therefore, we view them with contempt. Why can’t it be that easy for me?
But if you’ve been broken to pieces on the ground, and subsequently mended, you might find that your parts got mixed up with others who were broken into pieces and mended. You look at them and see the same brokenness and the same mending, the same scars and the same struggles, the same human-ness and the same supernatural intervention, and you can no longer compare yourself favorably or unfavorably with anyone else. For you realize that all are broken and that our mending has nothing to do with anything of ourselves except our brokenness. Surrender.