A member of the Community of St Anselm, the new monastic community based at Lambeth Palace, M’Kenna Gillespie, reflects on the nature of brokenness.
I failed to notice the steady crawl of the mixer as it approached the edge of the counter. One quick turnaround and the 17-year-old wedding gift took its plunge for the floor. I braced myself for impact as the sound of my mother’s footsteps responded to the intensity of the crash.
Never before had I witnessed a positive response to brokenness.
After that, I began to discover the beauty in it. . . That is, until it came to myself.
“You are broken. But you are better this way. I like you better this way.”
“How . . .”, I baffled. “How is a broken me better than the me who is joyful, the me who doesn’t need fixing, the me who can focus on others instead?”
I sat with this question for a while. I sat with it at that table, I sat with it upon my bed, and I sat with it at the foot of the cross . . . and I pondered it, until I realised I was pondering it in front of the Saviour who became broken for me.
And then it hit me. “I like my Jesus better this way.”
“And I like me better this way too.”
I have spent my entire life running away from brokenness, attempting to avoid it at all costs. And yet my Jesus ran directly into it for me. Much more, Isaiah 57:15 assures me it was not a one-time feat. My Lord does not desire brokenness for me, but he does choose to reside with me in it. For that I now desire to embrace brokenness, knowing he is there.
I want a morning that has broken – when light begins to cast out the darkness.
I want chains that are broken – when the sins that bind me now lay at my feet.
I want bread that is broken – when the mystery of mercy is given for me.
And I want a “me” who is broken – when my joy is metamorphosed beyond a shallow depth, when my “need to be fixed” becomes a yearning to be transformed, and when a “me” who can sit in my brokenness is a “me” who can sit with others in theirs, as well.
My mother got a new mixer. The new one is stronger, has a deeper capacity, and is more equipped than the last. In some ways, it’s just like the old one, and yet in many ways, it’s that much better.
Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) Update, February 19, 2019