(I originally wrote this almost 10 years ago. I still think it’s good. 🙂 )
I’ve been thinking about the body of Christ as a mosaic. It started early one morning this week. I was driving along, watching an amazing sunrise, and praying for one of my friends who had just gotten some devastating news. My words were something like this… “Lord, I’m thankful that You are a God who gathers up the broken pieces of our lives.”
As I was thinking more about this, I realized that when God gently picks up those broken pieces, He often chooses not to put them back together in exactly the way that they were before. Instead, He has the incredible ability to make something new, something fantastically beautiful out of those broken pieces. Instead of taking the smashed bits of pottery and gluing them back together to make a fragile, bumpy, once-broken-and-now-cracked plate, He can arrange those same smashed bits into a mosaic. But just like you can’t make a mosaic out of one broken plate, God chooses to put the pieces of my broken life together with the pieces of the lives of other broken people. We certainly didn’t look the same before we were broken, and we don’t look the same now… we have different shapes, different sizes and different patterns. But we’re part of the same mosaic… the same plan designed in the mind of Almighty God that our finite minds can’t even begin to fathom.
Sometimes, we feel like we were broken because someone or something or some circumstance accidentally knocked us off the comfortable place where we were sitting, and sometimes we feel like we were broken because someone or something or some circumstance deliberately smashed us to smithereens. But the fact of the matter is that, one way or another, we all had to be broken. You don’t glue a whole bunch of plates together and call it a mosaic. As hard and painful and humbling as it is, sometimes we have to allow ourselves to be broken in order to be made part of something bigger… something more amazing and beautiful and strong than we could ever be on our own.
It’s easy for me to admit this reality when my life is already in shambles. “Ok, God,” I say, “here are my broken pieces.” It’s much harder when I feel like I have things all together. “I look pretty good, don’t I?” I ask, “Are you sure I need to be broken?” But if I really want to be faithful, to be obedient, the answer is always yes. I might think I look pretty good on my own, but my All-Knowing Creator sees beyond my pathetic façade. He has a better plan… a plan that involves much more than just my little reality. A plan that puts together the pieces of broken hearts, broken dreams and broken lives into a new reality… a beautiful mosaic that shines God’s love and hope and healing into a broken world.
It’s not always easy, but maybe when I’m praying for myself or others who are going through times of brokenness and hurt, my prayer should change from “Lord, it’s broken. Fix it.” to “Lord, it’s broken. Please use the pieces to make something beautiful for You.”