I broke my phone.
I didn’t even notice the tiny fissure snaking its way from the bottom right up toward the center. Someone else pointed it out to me. “Isn’t that a crack?” they asked without much care, as if the news wouldn’t bother me.
Now please don’t think this is about my smartphone. That’s not why it bothered me. No. I made it much bigger than the loss of something material or an inability to disconnect. That little crack represented a huge fear. An idea much worse than a broken gadget. For me, it meant my charade of having things together had been found out. My brokenness had caught up with me.
Three years ago when I first launched my website, I called it Messed up and Broken … Loved and Forgiven. It seemed like a smart name. After all, I was messed up and broken in the process of accepting love and forgiveness. Why shouldn’t my website convey that as well? But then someone told me fiction writers name their websites after themselves. So, I obediently changed it and tried not to think about how egocentric it made me feel.
Not because I switched the name of my website. No. I just moved on, grew in confidence, believed more, hoped more. I worked hard, and I matured. But then the glass on my phone got broken, and suddenly I was broken again too. I was that person who can’t take care of her stuff– who might do well for a while, but eventually … eventually she goes back to being the way she was.
For about three hours I felt like I hadn’t changed at all. I was and always would be damaged. Some people say you can’t change and maybe there’s some truth in that. Genetics and environment can work against us. A simple crack in a piece of glass is inevitable. Or is it? Maybe there are some things that I can’t change, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be changed.
My brokenness is God’s problem to fix. And fix it he will. We can learn and grow and do our part, but in the end it must come back to Jesus. Only in him can a life be fully changed. He is my security. True security and significance will never be obtained by my growing confidence or gaining understanding. The real change can only come through him. He takes my brokenness and makes me shine.
And you know, being broken isn’t the worst thing. Not seeing Christ. That’s the worst thing. His plans will not fail. He brings light from our broken lives and does more with them than we ever could. So I’m not my broken phone. I’m a glow stick. Break me and watch me glow with the wonder of being loved by the God of the universe.