Better off Broken

Better off broken

By M’Kenna Gillespie

18 February 2019 

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.

“YES!”

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.

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Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) Update, February 19, 2019

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