As many of you know, I have three sweet daughters. The two younger ones absolutely love Barbie dolls. I guess it’s a timeless classic that never quite goes out of style. I started thinking about them a while ago as I bunny trailed while reading the word. I was reading Psalm 41 about how we are to keep the poor in our sights and that we are to be kind to them. I started to think about how we view not only the poor, but as most relatable to me, the sick and suffering.
When the girls have Barbies that lose a leg or an arm and even sometimes a head, my natural thought process is to throw them away. Why? Because it’s what is ingrained in my mind I guess. Anything that is broken should be thrown away. It’s of no use anymore. I thought about how so many in the body of Christ feel this way. I know personally I have felt It and struggle every single day to feel worth in suffering. It changes everything for you. How are you valuable and have worth as a mom or wife or a friend when you can’t do normal things for your children anymore or your spouse or your friends? How do you have value in the church when you’re no longer involved in ministries as you were before? When you were busy in the church serving God and now you have to be a Mary and serve Him by sitting at His feet, It changes things. When people are honored in the church that are busy doing things and you can’t anymore, it’s hard to not feel rejected and of little value anymore. You see those who are “whole” in the church and it’s hard not to feel in contrast even more broken in comparison.
In the church in general, we have this stigma of it’s good to “have It all together.” While many will profess that no they don’t have It all together, how many of us actually are willing to talk about It or show It. How many of us are willing to be vulnerable? I’d bet that most of us aren’t willing. And I understand It. Vulnerability is, well, vulnerable. It’s scary. You open yourself up to a world of hurt, and no-one likes to be hurt. I asked a sister recently how she was doing, and she actually answered me honestly. She shared how her marriage was needing prayer and let me tell you, It was one of the most refreshing things to hear. I later thanked her for being honest and vulnerable with me so that I could pray for her. I know there’s wisdom there, we don’t want to go around sharing all kinds of personal information with every Tom, Dick and Harry BUT what if we actually began to share that we are struggling. What if, when someone asked us how we are and we know that they genuinely care, what if we tell them how we really are.
It’s not just the sick and suffering, but what about the divorced, the single moms, the depressed, the difficult, the struggling teens etc. How often are they overlooked? I wrote a story years ago about how a potter was forming this beautiful clay vase. It was the most beautiful one he had ever made. He had adorned It with jewels and painted It with the most intricate details and he set It up on the mantle in his home for everyone to see. And one day, the vase fell and It broke. It didn’t shatter completely but there were many broken and jagged pieces. The potter picked It up gently and glued It back together as best as he could. This happened a few times and every time he’d just put It back together. You would think that It would have looked terrible, and to some maybe It did, but to this potter, the breaks and chips and cracks in the vase made It even more unique and even more special. He could have thrown It away, but he didn’t. He chose to pick up the pieces and mend It. There are people in the body of Christ who are the vase who are constantly being broken. Some have viewed them as less important because they aren’t busy in the church doing things. Some have cast them to the side because they’d actually have to invest time and energy into them. Some have even forgotten about them. But God doesn’t. Jesus was a servant. He came to serve the broken. Jesus was the one who truly “had It all together” and yet, He served those who didn’t! His eyes were always on the sick, the suffering, the lost, the widows, the poor, the orphans, the lepers, and the outcast.
We don’t have to pretend like we are all good. We can be honest with one another. We can be vulnerable with one another. Does that mean we’ll never be hurt? Absolutely not, we will be hurt because we’re human. But there’s a beauty in being honest and letting people see you struggle. There’s healing there. I used to have a saying that was taped to my computer, It said “It’s your brokenness that God will use, not your flawlessness. There’s something so unapproachable about people who seem to have never had a struggle.” I keep that in mind often. And I’m not perfect with this. I don’t share honestly all the time. I try myself to seem like I’m ok when i’m not. I have a hard time being vulnerable because I have a very hard time trusting people. So i’m preaching this to myself more than anyone else, but maybe It will minister to some who the Lord wills.
So now, when I see those broken barbies, I’m not as quick to throw them away. They can still be played with. They can still be used. They still have value. And so can we. We still matter. I encourage you to not overlook those who are suffering. And I encourage you to be ok with “not being ok.”
God bless. Until next time….