Brokenness and abundance

I think for quite some of us, at least for myself, this is a time that brings along some mixed emotions, a time of sometimes not knowing how you feel or how you should feel. Maybe it’s because of the uncertainty about how things will go or develop, or the loss of daily routines and face to face contact with friends. Time and again, we have to adapt or change our plans. And we tell ourselves that it could be worse, that we’re actually doing pretty okay, but deep down it just doesn’t always feel like that.

I think that’s not only true for this season. Doesn’t happen a lot, that when someone asks us ‘how are you doing?’ we automatically respond with ‘yeah, fine’ or ‘good’? And sometimes that’s just okay, but I think we all need moments when we can be really open and honest, we need people to whom we can open up and be real. Not only for ourselves, but also for the other person.

I wouldn’t say that this is easy, it can be rather scary even, but it is indispensable when we want to live in true relationship and communion with other people. Recently, I read ‘The Broken Way’ written by Ann Voskamp. She writes ‘The miracle of intimate union, of communion, comes through brokenness – through broken places and broken people and the brokenness of Christ and being broken and given’. It becomes visible in the Last Supper where Jesus gave thanks, broke the bread, and shared it. Abundance is found in brokenness and givenness.
So, maybe more than anything else, it’s actually in and through our brokenness, our fears, and our doubts, that we find the way to giving and real communion. And more than that… in our brokenness we are one with Christ, who gave himself and shared in our brokenness, and by this oneness with Him we are healed. When we start to discover his love and are filled with that love, we find the strength to open up, to be honest, vulnerable, humble, and generous. Yes, even to be broken and to break our own hearts open, so that others will see Christ in us. That doesn’t happen when we continue to pretend that all is going well, that we can fix everything ourselves, but only when we dare to show our brokenness and our dependence on Christ and one another. Thereby, giving Christ the possibility to fill us and others the courage to do the same. To open up and so opening the way for the beauty and joy of communion.

That’s quite different from what seems to be the standard in our society or what we expect from ourselves. For brokenness and dependence are often still seen as a weakness. Therefore, it may still be very relevant when Paul writes ‘But he [the Lord] said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me’.
It's my hope and prayer that this will be more and more the reality in our churches, in our student groups and Bible study groups. That these will be places where we can be open and broken, but also filled and healed. In communion with Christ and one another.

Ann Voskamp writes: “Live eucharist. Practice communion. Taste koinonia. Feel abundant life. All I can think is this: this is how you make the ever-present Christ fully present. This is the beginning of becoming the gift. Allow Christ in you to give away the gift of Himself right through your brokenness. God gives God so we can be the givers. The gift-ers”.

Tirtsa Liefting

Studentworker
Groningen
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