A Picture of Broken

We may think we aren’t broken.   We may say we aren’t broken.  We may even try to hide our brokenness.  But who hasn’t been shoved?  Or bullied?  Who hasn’t had the wind knocked out of them by a verbal sucker punch?  Who hasn’t been lied to?  Who doesn’t know a little bit about dysfunction?

Sometimes our pretty covers our brokenness. For a time.  And then it’s out in the open.  Never to be hidden.  Oh.  Others will talk.  The gossip will be ferocious.  The truth may never be uncovered.

Kate Spade.  When it seems you’ve got it made, there’s something hiding in the background.  Secrets don’t stay secret forever.  What was it that was haunting you?  What had happened?  What was it that caused you to decide that life wasn’t worth living?  Were you prepared for eternity?  Did you know what was awaiting you on the other side of your darkness?  Was it worth it?  If you could go back now and undo that scarf, would you?  Knowing what you know now?  I’m not judging you, Kate.  You’ve stood before your Maker and Judge.  He was fair and right and just.  May you rest in peace.

I don’t know the true reasons for your actions, Kate.  I don’t need to know.  Different stories and scenarios are circulating.  Some say bipolar disorder.  Others say a divorce was on the horizon.  The thing is.  The reason should be private.  Only those close to you need to know the answers.  If answers can be found.  It’s a sad day.  A very sad day for your family.  For your teenage daughter.  For those who loved you.

Kate.  You had the world at your fingertips.  You designed a lifestyle that others envied.  You sold your empire for more money than most will ever have.  People pay a lot of money to buy your designs.  Oh.  If only that was enough.  If only happiness could be bought.  And bottled.  And prettied up.

Anthony Bourdain.  A colorful life lived on the edge.  You cooked well.  You ate well.  You traveled well.  You were a show of your own.  But still.  That wasn’t enough.  Whatever the reason for ending your life, your life wasn’t in vain.  You were outrageous.  You  made people happy.  You challenged strangers to try new foods.  As you traveled the world eating exotic foods, your life was one to be envied.  But still.  That wasn’t enough.

What was the turning point for you, Anthony?  You, too, had a young daughter.  You seemed to have the world at your disposal.  Your mother said you had everything.  But yet, everything can feel like nothing when you’re going through a dark time.  What was unraveling in your life?  What secrets may now be exposed for the world to know?  If you knew now what you knew before you reached for your bathrobe, would you change your mind?  Would you seek help from others?  Would you turn to your Maker for comfort and encouragement?  Oh.  You’ve now stood in front of your Maker and Judge.  He was fair and right and just.  May you rest in peace.


The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.  Psalm 34:18


Life is not without problems.  You can lack nothing and still not have it all.

I’ll never be a billionaire.  I’ve never bought a Kate Spade bag.  I’ve never traveled the world.  I’ve never eaten exotic foods.  But I’ve known my fair share of pain.  Hurt.  Rejection.  Oh.  I’ve hit a rough patch lately.  I’m facing uncertainty in my life right now.  I’m not sure what lies ahead for me.  I’m not perfect.  I’m not without flaws and needs.  It’s a fact that those who seem to have life all sorted out, really don’t.  You can fool some of the people all the time.  You can fool all of the people some of the time.  But you can’t fool all the people all the time.

No.  I haven’t considered ending my life.  The thought hasn’t even crossed my mind.  I feel hopeful that my best days are still ahead.  Oh.  There are days when I’m discouraged.  There are moments when I’m fearful.  But I’m learning to trust my Maker and my Judge more and more.  I have to.  He’s my source of strength and comfort.

Oh.  I have friends and family I turn to.  I have ones who pray for me and send words of encouragement.  I’m not perfect and I’m not judging others who make the decision to end their life.  Life gets tough.  Hope gets lost.  Courage gets muddied.

There is one I turn to when I feel down and out.  One I’m close to and who always hears me when I turn to Him.  He knows my needs.  He knows my fears.  My insecurities.  He knows my value.  I can always count on Him to comfort me and provide for me.  Oh.  His timing isn’t always my timing.  But he is always available.

I have my God.  My Maker.  My Judge.  My Provider.  My Shepherd.  My Comforter.  My Hope.  My Healer.  I have it all.

 

It’s Never Too Late

He turned and caught my eye.  He wasn’t sure if he should look.  But he did.  I wasn’t sure if I should return the look.  But I did.

He was pushing his bike in the intersection when the left arrow turned green.  It was my turn to go.  But he was in the way.  I had to wait.

Maybe he didn’t mean to catch my eye.  Maybe he was just checking to make sure I wasn’t going to charge into him.  Or maybe he was checking to see if I was going to make some obscene gesture.  Or mouth some bad words.  I didn’t do any of that.  I just looked at him.  I waited.

I continued to look.  I saw sadness about him.  Uncertainty.  Unhappiness.  Desperation.  I wondered why he wasn’t riding the bike.  I wondered why he wasn’t driving a car.

I wondered what got him to this point in his life.  Had he made some wrong decisions?  Did he have some habits he couldn’t break?  I didn’t mean to judge.  But I did.

I remember someone else I see regularly standing on that same street corner.  She holds a sign.  Need money.  No job.  Please help.  The thing is.  I’ve seen her there for over a year now.  Once a week.  I sometimes see her walking up to that corner.  I always wonder where she came from.  She pulls out her sign and unfolds it.  Like it’s her job.  I wonder if it is her job.   To stand on that street corner and ask for money.  Perhaps she’s standing on a different street corner every day.

I wonder why she hasn’t gotten a job yet.  I wonder if she’s scamming people for money.  And that’s her job.  I wonder if she really is homeless.  She doesn’t look homeless.

I don’t look her in the eye.  I look away instead.  I’ve been known to put on my sunglasses so I can look at her without looking her in the eye.  I don’t trust her motives.  I don’t mean to judge.  But I do.

Then I remember a man who was judged.  He was hung on a cross and left to die.  Three days later he shocked the world and left the tomb where he had been buried.  He could have saved himself.  But he didn’t.  He could have been the judge and jury of those accusing him of things he didn’t do.  Of things he didn’t say.  But he didn’t.

Instead, he showed love.  As he hung on that middle cross, dying.  One rebel hanging with him cursed him.  The other rebel defended him and asked to be remembered.  Jesus looked over to the man and offered salvation.  Later that day, the man was in heaven.  Meeting up with God.  Because one man, Jesus Christ, cared enough to look him in the eye.  To offer hope and salvation and eternal life.  Instead of judging him.  In the last minutes of that rebel’s life, he was forgiven.  He was given eternal life in heaven.

It’s never too late to receive Jesus’ love and forgiveness.  All you have to do is ask.  

It’s never too late to stop judging others.  It’s never too late to share God’s love.  It’s never too late to offer the hope of heaven.

Maybe I need to start looking more people in the eye.