Magic is everywhere.

Mercy Gathers Broken Pieces

All these pieces, Broken and scattered, In mercy gathered, Mended and whole (Broken Vessels, Hillsong)

We awoke in the middle of the night startled by a loud crash. My husband and I raced out of our bedroom to find the source of the intruding noise. Suddenly…the realization hit me with the same alarming shock. Could it be my beloved china plates I had just hung in the dining room? I rushed to confirm if the incident was true, and yes; bone china shards pummeled the hardwood floor and scattered into a million broken pieces.

Have you ever stood and surveyed broken pieces of your life? How could this have happened? How could something so treasured and seasoned with hope suddenly slip from our fingers and fly in slow motion into a heap of fractured fragments? 

I knew how it happened and I was to blame. It’s one thing when accidents randomly happen with no finger to point, but all evidence convicted me as the culprit.

For years I had admired the china plate walls at La Madeline’s french cafe. Delicate china in all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns were arranged into a beautiful wall of art. I dreamed one day I would have a dining room where I could do the same thing and filed the idea in my card catalog of design options. I collected different pieces anticipating the day, and finally the time came to decorate my dining room wall in our new house. I arranged and rearranged the plates on the floor striving for the correct abstract pattern, until finally I had it right and it was time to recreate it on the wall.

It was all going well, until I realized I didn’t have a plate holder big enough for the large blue and white Mikasa plate. Should I WAIT and patiently save and shop for the right one…OR should I Pinterest a DYI idea to make one myself? I had to finish the wall that night, right? I had waited long enough! I had to see it finished NOW–even at the risk of my delicate plate.

My plate hanging DYI solution (as you can imagine) involved my faithful friend, the hot glue gun, along with gorilla tape and a metal key ring. It really LOOKED like a clever idea on Pinterest! Something in my gut told me to wait. This plate is worth too much to risk it. It looked beautiful for almost a week.

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Until it all came crashing down… 

I left the wreckage of the china pieces there for a few days until I could summon the grace to deal with it. I knew the big blue plate was the cause, but I was more disappointed about the small Royal Albert Rose Cameo vintage tea saucer that was my favorite.

Honestly, I left the pieces there in floor because it was symbolic of greater brokenness inside me.  Summer was not generous to us. It brought many emotional surprises that chipped a few pieces off my heart. Circumstances caught me by surprise and slipped through my fingertips in every effort to save them. Sometimes things get dropped, hearts break and best laid plans are forever altered.

pain

Days passed and I was reminded of my disappointed dishes and I knew I better sweep it up before the sharp-edged slivers injured someone. I’m reminded of a Maya Angelou quote that went something like, “In my pains, I don’t have to be one.” Lord, help me quarantine disappointment and hurt from spreading to others.

My heart jumped as I fully laid my eyes on the pieces. I couldn’t believe what I saw! There in the middle of the brokenness, mercy had gathered my rose saucer. “Lord, I can’t believe you did that!” I cried.

Even in my failure, a pillow of mercy caught my heart.

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I’m reminded how King David tried to collect his broken pieces after “Hurricane Bathsheba”. First he tried to hide them, then he tried to blame others, finally the prophet made him look at them for what they were. Broken human attempts to fix it. 

Psalm 51 portrays King David’s heart break with the prayer, “Have mercy on me O God, according to your unfailing love.”  MERCY. Mercy begins gathering. David repents for his contribution to the broken situation and beautiful mercy and grace appear with a broom. The humbled king gathers his broken pieces of grief, failure and disappointment–ugly and rejected as they appear–and offers it up to the Lord. Here, his altered future BECOMES an ALTAR of presence! 

A broken and a contrite heart—These, O God, You will not despise.” Our brokenness is God’s landing pad for His presence, right there in the middle of the mess! God has promised to be close to the brokenhearted. No matter if our stupid choices broke it or someone else’s. 

“Going through the motions doesn’t please you, a flawless performance is nothing to you. I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” Psalm 51: 16-17 MSG 

As I type this, Hurricane Harvey has thrown a heavy hammer breaking homes, families and lives into unrecognizable pieces. I have friends outside of Houston who were evacuated from their homes today. They wait and pray for a miracle to hold back the river’s crest and turn back the water’s rage to save their homes. What will be saved? What will be broken? Lord, let your mercy begin gathering broken pieces in Houston.

I’m reminded of an old gospel song…

Pick Up The Broken Pieces And Bring Them To The Lord
Pick Up The Broken Pieces Trust In His Holy Word 
He Will Put You Back Together And Make Your Life Complete 
Just Place The Broken Pieces At The Saviors Feet.

You May Feel That There’s No Hope 
Broken Hearts Just Cannot Mend 
Tho Your Torn In Many Pieces 
Christ Can Make You Whole Again. 
Storms Of Doubt Blow All Directions But Don’t Be Afraid. 
God Can Make All Corrections He Made A Body Out Of Clay.

I hung my “mercy” tea saucer back on the wall, thankful for what mercy saved. But for now I’m going to keep a space where the broken blue one was. It can’t be put back together, but I’m trusting for his GRACE to provide another one. In HIS time, not mine. I’m going to cherish the empty space right now as a sign of FAITH for what’s to come. I’m willing to be empty handed to seek what’s in His hand. “Empty handed but not forsaken.”  

emptyhanded

No matter what has caused your broken pieces, there is mercy and grace for your tomorrow. God may choose to mend and repair the pieces, or He may ask you to wait and believe for new provision. Either way, as we give the painful pieces to the Father, mercy gathers and graces provides healing for a hopeful tomorrow. Charles Dickens wrote in the classic novel, Great Expectations, “I have been bent and broken, but I HOPE into a better shape.” 

Mercy gathers and grace provides healing for a hopeful tomorrow. 

Jesus came for broken hearts, will you let him come to yours?

He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted. Luke 4:18 

 

 

 

 


mind reno

Mind Renovation – Day 14 – Redeeming Memories

I think Autumn is the best time of year with falling leaves, football games, pumpkins, sweaters and cooler weather. The thing I cherish most about fall is the beloved pumpkin spice latte. Can I get a witness?

I recently heard a story of a lady who…wait for it…HATES pumpkin spice lattes. (I know it’s hard to image.) She shared the reason for her aversion and it painted a bigger picture for me. When she was a little girl her dad made pumpkin spice bread for the family. Instead of adding baking powder he used baking soda! The bread smelled heavenly, but it tasted too salty and rancid. Today whenever she thinks of trying anything with pumpkin spice her mind runs to that first bad experience. Her brain classifies and judges ALL pumpkin spice items as distasteful. She needs a memory redemption. I wish I could invite her to the coffee shop.

grudges

 

How many of us do the same thing? If we’ve experienced a painful incident we judge everything associated with that event as painful, and label it as dangerous. This is the precursor of prejudice–judging all by the actions of a few.

I got hurt in church, thus all churches are hurtful. I was abused by a man; all men are abusive. I was robbed by a teenager; all teens are criminals. My boss was unfair; all bosses are out to get me. 

You get the idea. You’ve just discovered the devil’s major scheme to STEAL our future. He tries to trick us into judging one negative incident as life’s forgone conclusion.  That negative memory does not have to be your fate! It can be REDEEMED and exchanged for God’s greater purpose.

We can’t change the FACTS of what happened to us, but we CAN change our response and embrace the TRUTH of God’s redeeming power! 

Memories are powerful and real. They can be triggered by smell, sound or a feeling. How many painful memories occupy real estate of your head? Continue reading…