Bless Others through Your Brokenness
We all know what it means to take a loaf of bread, break off a piece, hand it to a friend.
Glenn Packiam shows us what a sacred act it is in his book, Blessed Broken Given. As Jesus created holy moments with bread in his life on earth, we discover through Packiam that we can do the same thing.
“There is more to this life than what you see. There is more to you than what you see. Nothing in this world is as common as it seems. Even bread is really more than bread.”
This book breaks down each word, Blessed – Broken – Given, and gives examples from Jesus’s life in the New Testament and provokes thoughts for our own ways to live out these concepts.
“Bread in the hands of Jesus is blessed, broken, and given. And so it is with you. Your life, as common and ordinary as bread, in Jesus’s hands becomes something more.”
It is okay to not be okay.
“Let your brokenness open you up. To the light. To love. To the grace of God.”
“It’s not difficult to show your scars; it’s much harder to reveal your wounds. To let others into your pain in real time, to allow them to see that tender place of brokenness, to allow them to hear your questions, your off-the-cuff reflections, your in-the-moment vows—that is hard to do.”
But we don’t have to do it alone. We have a High Priest who goes with us.
He gives us a holy imagination. “Begin to see all God’s gifts and handiwork as icons of His glory and grace.”
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How will God use your brokenness to bless others in 2020? How can you share with others what God has given to you? Please share in the comments.
My thanks to Net Galley & WaterBrook Multnomah
for the review copy of this book
- On the Blog – December 2019
- 5 Links, Books, and Things I Love – January 2020
This book reminds me of something I heard at a conference for lay counselors where the speaker spoke of us being “wounded healers”. One key thing is for each of us see that brokenness is universal since Eden. It varies to the amount and depth in each person, but it exists. When we see that and deal with our own, we are equipped to be used by the Lord with others without judging them or being preachy with religious platitudes.
This book sounds like another must read, Lisa. We can heal others when we begin to face and accept the brokenness of our own lives. I’ll hang onto the thought that we are ordinary people made extraordinary in the hands of Jesus.
Lisa, thank you for the book recommendation, and moreover, for bringing up this deep topic. So many Christians are afraid to reveal their brokenness (THIS Christian most definitely included!), for a myriad of reasons–admission of failure and sin, pride, fear that we will receive condemnation (of all places!) from the Body of Christ, etc. When God finally led me to reveal my abortion story, I did so with fear, trembling, and tears, but each time I obeyed the Lord, not always, but more often than not, people were kind, loving, and accepting. They showered me with God’s grace and healing. What I had never expected, though, was that they felt free to share their own sins, wounds, and brokenness, whether abortion, itself, or other deep, hurting places. Admitted brokenness begets more admitted brokenness (a multiplication). Over the years. I’d shared my pain one on one, and then gradually, in small groups (more in intimate conversation than anything formal). Then the Lord led me to write about my abortion and healing in a book, which was published by Multnomah in 2004 (ironically in a gorgeously illustrated gift book, where women would feel safe to purchase it without the big red “A” plastered on the cover; the book is pretty, but it is substantively, transparently penned). But a couple years ago, I wrestled with my previously admitted brokenness and healing. My pastor asked to me to tell my story (in 2 minutes!–ridiculous, frankly) in two morning worship services. I panicked. He only gave me 3 days to pray about it (equally ridiculous, and I told him so 🙂 !), but I agreed to pray and ask God’s will. The Lord led me to say yes, but with certain parameters in place, including increasing the length of my testimony to 6 minutes, which I would be able to read word for word (both to give me courage and to prevent my rambling; other people had given spontaneous testimonies). The pastor agreed to it all. One reason I feared this so much is that occasionally I heard church members speak with such callous disdain for women like me, and also because I had never publicly shared my testimony about abortion with all the women in the church, plus men, children and teens, too. But God clearly led me to say yes. I was staggered by the results. I won’t monopolize your blog here w/ all the blessings God showered on our congregation and me in admitting my brokenness, but this one: Just this past spring, a woman who heard my testimony that morning, asked me to pray for her young 16 y/o niece, scheduled for abortion in just two days. I agreed, and friends and I prayed fervently; I also offered the aunt my testimony video, which she shared with her SIL, the girl’s mother. Long story, short, the video testi. had a big impact, and the girl chose to have her beautiful baby boy. He has been adopted by a family who knows the birth mother’s family well, and the girl and her mom can now see this adorable little guy whenever they want! On my birthday, last June, I hosted a birthday party-baby shower, because the baby was due on my birthday (so, no gifts for me, but all for the baby)! After the baby was born, I met the girl and her mother, and they were totally overwhelmed that strangers would love them so well. They talked about my testimony and how it made a difference between life and death. I was staggered that God would use my shaking-in-my-boots-brokenness testimony to bring blessing and life. Oh, Lisa, thank you for this blog, where you share your own brokenness at times and invite it in your readers. Truly, we *are* wounded healers (I believe it was Henri Nouwen who coined that term). When we are broken bread in the Master’s hand, He will multiply the pieces of our shattered lives into life-giving sustenance and grace for others who need their own healing!
Happy New Year!
Crying as I read this, Lynn. Wow–what a beautiful result of your testimony! To think that this baby boy is even here in our world now…all the lives that have been touched and will be touched…so powerful! Thank you for sharing your story that day (and many other times!) and for sharing it again here. I love that God still uses us as wounded healers. Blessings to you, friend! Love you.
I’d help you with my broken places,
and all the heart which that entailed,
but time’s run out for such graces,
and I’m let with knowing that I failed.
There were many ways to offer aid,
and help you find that which you seek,
but truth be known, I was afraid
that in the end you’d find me weak.
And so I’ve saved the best for last,
but it’s been kept too many hours.
Life and love, they change so fast
that the hoarded vintage has gone sour.
I feared the demons from a dream
and am left now with Might Have Been.
…Lisa, I hope that you are off to great start with 2020, make it special.
We tend to run from our brokenness or hide it too. I know I do. Yet that is where growth, healing and often where we experience God can be found. sounds like a good book to read, especially in a small group for discussion. Happy new year, Lisa!
This sounds like a great book. I love the differentiation between scars and wounds! I definitely want to read this! Thanks for sharing!