“Blessed are the cracked and broken, for it is they who let in the Light.”
Friar Puck the Irascible
I have learned many things in my 44 years of living, but here is something I am learning over and over again (especially during the last few months): everyone (and I do mean everyone!) is broken whether they acknowledge it or not. There are no perfect people in the world. And with the exchanges I have had over the last few weeks with Christians and people who say they care I have learned again: all of us are broken and imperfect.
In fact, I’ve learned that those who project a greater sense of accomplishment, or an “I’ve already arrived” mentality (especially among followers of Jesus), are the ones who are the farthest away from the very perfection of which they speak.
Who wants to be “perfect?” Honestly, I don’t for the myth and illusion of perfection is a weight that no one can bear. The truth is Jesus came for the sick and screwed up anyway. People like me…
For it is only through the cracks and the brokenness of life that the profound mystery of God’s grace can enter and heal us. For in our myth of perfection and achievements, we lose the truth that we are broken and we need to feel that we are already perfect and whole. When this happens we become “sealed shut” and the elements of God’s grace have no opening with which to enter our hearts.
For grace enters the heart through a wound.
We are a broken and imperfect people. And praise God for that! For in our cracked and broken natures, God’s power is perfected (2 Cor. 12:9). Even St. Paul said we should “boast” about our weaknesses for in them we experience God like we never would have expected.
Yes, Jesus did say, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” But the word perfect there does not mean without flaw, error or blemish. It means to be “mature, complete, and healthy.”
So we, who are broken, are called to a God Who enters us through the very brokenness we try and hide or deny. It is the lovely mystery of God: that the Holy One enters the unholy. Or put another way, the God of Wholeness desires to love and enter His Un-wholly (broken) creation and to do so tenderly and in perfect Love.
God loves the broken and cracked among us. Alleluia, Alleluia!
I have said it before and will say it again; God does indeed have a preferential option for the poor, the oppressed and ALL who are broken, not because they are better or more loved, but precisely because they (we, I, you) are more vulnerable – and God has a special concern for the most vulnerable in this world because they are less protected and have less resources.
God loves all equally and perfectly, but those that are the most broken, and those who cry out in their brokenness, are the ones who are the most open to God’s amazing and disturbing grace. We who are broken know that we need the relentless tenderness of Jesus. Those who find themselves to be whole have no need of grace or forgiveness or healing…or even God for that matter.
In truth, without God’s grace and love, I am just another conniving, arrogant addict ‘jonesing’ for a high or drink. But with the love of Jesus poured out into my heart and soul, I am whole, not perfect, but whole (and holy). For as the Sacred Scriptures says, “I have been crucified with Christ and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me [and the] life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me (Gal.2:20).”