Tag Archives: Brokenness

Keeping Faith: In Brokenness

Twenty three years ago my family were burgled and then again 15 years ago while on a year out mission all my computer gear got stolen while I was working for the church. This had a profound effect on me, one that I still struggle with today.  I laughingly call it my ‘bit of crazy’. I know this is not very politically correct, but it helps me acknowledge that sometimes my thinking and fearful thoughts are just crazy and I should not give them airtime in my head; instead I need to get some perspective.

We all have a level of brokenness. Mine is small compared to proper mental health issues, but we all carry a burden of some sort or another.

Sometimes the church can be amazing when dealing with people who are broken and sometimes shockingly bad, offering glib answers such as ‘it will be ok’ or ‘just pray/read the bible more’ and the one that trumps them all of course is, “is there some sin in your life holding you back?” This belittles and patronises the person who is suffering, as if they had never thought to pray more!

I don’t know why God allows suffering, and its top of my list of questions to ask Jesus when I get to heaven.  But there is something the church can do.  In fact, three things at least.

Love, even if it hurts

There needs to be a willingness for particular and called people to walk a mile in the shoes of those in pain, to really and deeply connect with people, to be willing to sit in the darkness with them and move at their pace; to offer respect and dignity that elevates their humanity; to continue praying, loving and hoping for that individual.

However, such people need the support of the wider Christian community as they sacrificially give of themselves.

Offer Hope and never stop.

Individually and as a community we must abundantly minister the gift of hope, always leaving a door open for those who are struggling, especially if they leave. Not offering hope that is a phrase but hope that has been tested and scorched by life. A hope that is real, visceral and life changing.

Jesus never gave platitudes to the sick, but met them face to face and eye to eye, always breathing new life into them, leaving them better off.

Hold tightly onto Faith 

I do not understand why for some there is a lifelong struggle with mental illness. I do not understand why God sometimes doesn’t seem to heal. However, in my journey of faith I have learnt that faith is more than an emotion but is an act of will. I have learnt that there can be nourishment in the desert places and I learnt to seek out those places and the people who can becomes as Christ’s hands and feet, to carry you for a while.

To you who are struggling, know you are in my prayers even if I do not know your name; we worship the same God who does.

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