Midnight Musings

Broken Vessels

“You’re a bit broken, aren’t you?” he said.

Now, listen. This was not an insult, nor did I take it as one. It was merely an observation- and rather a clever one, at that! It was said with so much love, dripping emphatically in pity, I couldn’t help but smile in reply.

“Yes,” I said, “yes, I am.”

You see, being a type 1 diabetic, I guess my body is a bit broken- on a literal level. But even further than that, us humans are all quite cracked.

I love looking at us in this way: in the way that we are all imperfect and scarred, because it leaves absolutely no room for pride in the human condition. It leaves room only for grace. And for God.

Recently, I was challenged by the idea of “good people” versus “bad people” and I found that my opinion had remained quite unchanged since I was saved. I don’t believe in “good people”. I believe in people and in God’s goodness, the same way I believe in people and in the power of evil.

This may seem pessimistic, I’ll grant you that, but hear me out. What point is there in serving a glorious God, when the servant sees himself as worth glorifying? What beauty is there to be found in a portrait, when the background extravagantly screams for attention?

What good is there, then, in saying we serve a good God when we, inherently, are already good?

There isn’t. And the Lord knows this full well. This is why he allowed us to be born into a broken world- a world marred by sin and confusion: He desires for us to see His glory in comparison! Therein lies the Great Romance. He has granted us free will. We are, therefore, able to choose against Him. Oh, but when we choose Him above all else… that’s when the magic happens!

How much sweeter is our reward, when we choose Life over the Death offered by this world? No measure could amount to this sweetness! For it is heavenly. It is supernatural. It is God’s gift to us: the gift of Salvation. And He offers it so freely!

What makes this gift so special is our desperate need for it. Although it is a need we seldom recognize…

In this world, we are taught to believe in the good of others. A noble idea, by all means! Yet, the danger lies in it being so close to the truth. By seeking the good in others, and in ourselves, we become oblivious to our need of God and His inherent Goodness.

The good in this world is no work of ours, nor is it some coincidence. No! It is the work of the Creator of all that we see and all that we don’t. It is His and His alone.

While I hear the heart behind looking to find the few “good people” here on earth, my heart breaks at the pride which accompanies the idea. Never forget what Jesus did for us on that cross. Never forget what both you and I truly deserved, my friend. And never forget that you were spared, not by your own goodness, but by the goodness of the Almighty God.

I am reminded of this verse in the Bible, where Jesus addresses the notion of being inherently “good”:

Jesus said to him, “Why do you call Me good? No one is [essentially] good [by nature] except God alone. Mark 10:18

May we all be granted a similar attitude of reverence to the Father and His Goodness alone. For, while you and I are but broken vessels, He still chooses us to do His good works. Even with a broken pancreas, He allows me to break bread (and cake, to be honest) with His beloved children.

I guess it’s unnecessary to say anything deeper or more profound other than, “We’re all a bit broken,” because, well, that’s the truth.

It’s not an insult, but rather an observation made with love in my heart and a whole lot of empathy. But, more than that, it is said with gratitude. For it is by His greatness alone that I am granted life. And therefore I will use this life to bring Him glory.

Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Anton Chekhov

“You’re a bit broken, aren’t you?” he said.

I said yes and smiled, because- praise God!-I knew that he was too.


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