Today I broke a bowl and sat down to put it back together. The idea for this "therapy" came from a challenge I read to do this and see what God might say to you through it. I knew as I read it that God wanted me to do this. At the time, I didn't have anything to break, nor the time sit and listen. This afternoon, for $8.00, I got 3 hours with my Father, some much needed downtime, and an original piece of art.
Just taking the bowl and throwing it onto the pavement in a light rain was a release of the stress and frustration from the past few weeks. Once I was back inside putting it together, I began to doubt any purpose in the exercise. I was about half-way through putting it back together when I began to see the lessons in it...
1. Even though I will have a bowl when I am done, it will still have pieces missing, chips and gaps. Some things that it used to be able to do it won't be able to do again - Painful experiences, broken dreams, and the consequences of sin change us.
2. Sometimes the pieces do not fit back together perfectly. But I want them to and find it frustrating when they don't. I want it to look perfect again.
3. In the process of gluing back together other places might get chipped.
4. I may not figure out where all the pieces go, but God never leaves one out without a reason. He knows where every piece came from and where it goes.
The top part of my bowl broke into larger pieces with fewer chipped and crumbled pieces, while the bottom was more shattered.
5. Sometime the more visible parts of our lives don't look so bad on the outside, but down at the bottom, there can be a shattered life with many gaps and lots of glue. Some times we have to look deep inside to see this part in ourselves and others.
6. God is big enough to bridge the gaps, even the big gaping ones! I don't have to worry about making it all fit or trying to cover it up.
7. Putting something back together takes time and purposefulness. You can't just put glue on everything and leave it in pile. Well, you can but all you'll end up with is a petrified pile of brokenness. I don't want to be this kind of person. God wants to re-shape my brokenness back into something beautiful.
Now, I have a piece of "workmanship" to daily remind me that I am God's own work of art.
I'm learning to love my new bowl - brokenness and all.