He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. Isaiah 61:1b
Our Devotional this week is brought to us by the UMHB Dean of Spiritual Life and University Chaplain, Jason Palmer.
The recent months have included no shortage of suffering for many. The scope of the painful experiences has been broad and the manifestations diverse. Many of us know people whose circumstances have tested their resiliency. Such tests remind us that the human condition is frail—that none of us are immune from shattering under the right combination of stressors.
We didn’t need a pandemic to show us human frailty. Every workplace is a collection of x people, with x examples of brokenness. Every family too. The brokenness of the people around us may fall into recognized “Human Resources” categories but everybody’s individual hang ups are unique.
Historical trends predict some of our very best efforts at dealing with our own brokenness will fail. However, this forecast doesn’t lessen the sting that accompanies the moment of fragmentation. A decision point looms as we stare at the pieces: where do we go from here?
The Prophet Isaiah pointed believers to the One “sent…to heal the brokenhearted” because the process employed by the Messiah is instructive and leaves the object of healing better than it started. There is a Japanese art form called kintsugi that illustrates Christ’s work beautifully. Pottery that has been unintentionally or intentionally broken is skillfully repaired using lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum. The restored piece is often more beautiful, useful, and valuable than the original—set apart from its peers with a captivating testimony about redemption.
Jesus knows every detail of the hurt that exists in our families and communities. He takes the time to study the intricacies of each fracture and regularly binds up damage others assess to be hopeless.
Take heart this week as you interact with people and projects that are cracked—that have little resemblance to their five-year plan. God is still in the business of rejoining broken hearts. He sees with perfect compassion. May we trust that He is working in this fallen world to demonstrate His unique ability to redeem that which seems beyond repair.