Broken, But Not Trash

Our lives have a way of accumulating broken things because most things can be broken. Even things that are marked unbreakable can be broken if enough pressure is placed in the right location. I like to sift through antique stores. Not the the ones with imported European furniture pieces, no, I can’t even imagine affording their offerings. My kind of  antique stores sometimes have the word junktique on a sign in the window. Inevitably there are shelves of mismatched glassware of all kinds. If I want to look at something I almost have to force myself to pick it up, afraid I’ll drop it (and have to pay for it!).

People are among the most breakable things we can touch, even those that seem to be marked unbreakable. Unlike the stores I like to haunt there are no junk people. None. Am I the only one who has to keep reminding myself of this truth? Did you just think of a certain kind of person or someone who has done certain things and wonder if maybe they are junk… broken… trash? God forgive us and help us to see as He sees. I wonder how many people who have been regarded, and treated, as broken trash end up thinking that way about themselves? In my friend’s book, Identity Crisis: 21 Days of Discovering Who God Says You Are (Amazon Link), is a simple but valuable sentence:

Even if we feel broken, God believes we are valuable. – Michael D. Perkins 

No one should feel like trash, even if everything about their lives is broken. Even if all the people they care about think very little of them. What does God see within that no one else can see?

Humans can only see the…

Broken lives.

Broken families.

Broken faces in the mirror.

Broken hearts.

Broken by addiction and bad choices. Broken by choosing to follow our own path instead of God’s. Broken by our idols. Broken by our stubborn resistance to learn from others. Broken by grudges and walls built around our hearts. Broken by rejection of the One who loves us most.

Broken but trying to appear unbreakable. God sees through it all to the real person inside. And He is deeply in love with the one He sees. A mysterious person I knew for a brief while when he was still on this earth was someone I only knew as Brother Sean. He taught me what I want to say to the hurting people I meet:

The Christ in me sees the Christ in you, and you matter to me.

I don’t think I’ll ever forget that. It reminds me that when we get ready to come back to God in our own lives He never looks at us with sad eyes and shakes his head at the broken mess we’re trying to offer to Him. No, when we turn to Him with all of our mess clearly on display and let Him know we’re sorry…we’re ready for Him to clean up this junktique of a person we’ve become… He doesn’t despise us. In truth, nothing makes him happier.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;  a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. – Psalm 51:7

The truth is we’ve all been broken at some time or another. The junk of sin accumulates around us. We can start to identify more with the trash that surrounds us than the treasure God sees within us. We’re all broken, but none of us is trash.

Thanks for reading, JD.

Follow my friend Michael D. Perkins on Twitter here. Check out his website here.