17 May 2022

'Love heals our brokenness' reflects Offaly influencer


Ronan Scully of Self Help Africa

Have you ever felt broken? Kintsugi is the art of repairing something that has been broken with gold, with the understanding that the object is more beautiful because it has been broken.

Like the art of kintsugi, God repairs the brokenness in our lives and makes us more beautiful through the process. My daughter Mia broke her leg and knee a few years ago when she was 12 years old. It happened accidentally while playing tag rugby. The scream that followed is still fresh in my mind almost 4 years later. The doctor wrapped her full leg after her serious operation in a bright red cast, and for a few weeks she took it easy, allowing herself to heal.

But before too long, she was back out and about on crutches trying to keep fit with determination, her leg still wrapped inside its cast. Within months after the cast had come off and the long road of physio had begun, she was back on her bicycle, cycling hard with her once-broken leg. When my wife and I first saw her on her bicycle, we gasped and ran towards her, certain she couldn’t withstand the movement. But she did. Her leg was strong and solid, and she was smiling. That which was once broken was now healed.

The funny thing about healing is that something healed still holds the memory of its former brokenness. I still have a nasty scar of my own that serves as a reminder of a sports injury I experienced decades ago. The pain will always be part of my memory, but a miraculous healing has taken its place. Through Jesus Christ, we can experience physical, emotional and spiritual healing. And though the pain may still be a part of our memory, Revelation 21:4 says that one day, “‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” . What a beautiful reminder that we should never be ashamed of our own brokenness and healing, because it is through that very brokenness and healing that we can encourage others.

Rock Bottom

Every one of us has some sort of brokenness in our past. Perhaps we have grieved from a broken heart, complicated situations, loss of a family member or loved one, loss of health, or relationships. Also experiences like rejection, abuse, trauma and other adversities in life could lead to a broken heart. Whether it’s from choices we have made or circumstances beyond our control, sometimes we find ourselves so profoundly broken that we don’t know how things could ever be restored. Many of the events and experiences we have in life can leave us feeling broken.

We see brokenness on a personal and social level every day, and may ourselves feel fragmented and shattered. It seems unavoidable. It’s a very lonely place to be. It’s not something we can control; perhaps the most important thing is how we respond to it.  We create barriers, turn away from one another, turn inwards, and live with fear.  Often confronting our own brokenness is too painful, too disturbing, too much to handle, and rather than engaging with our own hurt we either lash out at others or shrink into ourselves. For some of us our response is to build walls, metaphorically and literally, to try and shut out those things which threaten or disturb us. I have faced some serious moments of brokenness in my life.

There were points where the pieces of me were so destroyed that they weren’t just shattered; they were ground to dust. After the tragic loss of my beautiful niece Aoife, the death of several family members and friends, and my own health’s disintegration, what was left of me was strewn across the pit called rock bottom. With a broken heart and no hope at times I found things awful difficult to keep going but keep going, I did thanks to God intervening at that point. Accepting Jesus into my life changed everything. He lovingly scooped up the pieces of my spirit and painstakingly put me back together, piece by broken piece. W

here my heart had been ground to dust, He created a new one. Every time I suffer another break, He fills in the cracks with His love and life. God restores me and makes me complete again, like a broken bowl repaired by kintsugi. By now, my life certainly looks rather unique with all its gold-filled cracks and new pieces. But there is beauty in that brokenness — and in what God did to redeem my story.

Thought for the week

As your thought for the week, always remember that some of the most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known brokenness, known rejection, known abandonment, known homelessness, known illness, known suffering, known unemployment, known loneliness, known struggle, known grief, known asylum, known hunger and thirst, known abuse, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, sensitivity, and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, mercy, forgiveness, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen. S

o look on everyone with compassion as we don't know what other people are living through. Never give up on yourself or on others because life is short and we all need a bit of a resurrection experience in our life no matter who we are now and then and when it happens everything falls into place.

A prayer poem by Deborah Ann that I love to pray when feeling broken and that helps me goes as follows, "God keeps doing wonders, with broken hearts. He can still heal and mend all the injured parts. But, you must give Him your heart as it breaks each little piece of it and all the little flakes. God can perform miracles, on hearts that are damaged. He can undo the impact where grief has ravaged. But, you must go to Him, with a heart surrendered so He can do the repairs without being hindered. God continues to do wonders, miracles He still performs for the heart that is broken He mercifully transforms! As Psalm 147:3 says “He healeth the broken in heart,and bindeth up their wounds.”

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