Broken Pieces

Colossians 1:18-20 (MSG) "He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross."

I treasure a tiny little ceramic jewel box that Daddy gave me when I was about 10 years old that came from my Great Aunt Jewel.  It broke once and I glued it back together. I wanted to remember Aunt Jewel.

Joy fills my heart when I touch and hold the blue willow coffee mug that Mama gave me after Grandma Troyer died. I remember seeing Grandma drink out of that coffee mug. The mug has chips on it. I feel lots of love when I touch that mug. And I say a prayer for Mama.

When I pull out the Hallmark 4-piece carousel horse collection during the holidays for their annual display, I gently touch the horse that broke when my niece Hannah was about 8 years old and dropped it over the edge of the loft. It came crashing down on a dining room chair. The horse's ear is chipped and there's a small ding in the old oak chair. I can't fix either one. But at least once a year when I pull out the holiday horses, I pray for Hannah. And throughout the year, when I pull out that dining room chair to rest on my laurels and see that ding, I pray for Hannah.

I use the good china. [I hate paper (or plastic) plates. Somehow they seem so disposable and I can't understand why you would put really good food on a disposable plate. It ruins the flavor.]  Some of my Franciscan Desert Rose plates are showing signs of wear after daily use; I remember purchasing the entire set from my neighbor, Minnie, just prior to her garage sale. The set had been her mothers, but she didn't want them anymore and she knew that I appreciated antiques and told me she really wanted me to have them. I've broken and chipped a few over the years. But I've shared their ageless beauty with many friends, scratches and all.

I have a bookmark from a friend that has photos of her family on it stuck in the middle of my Bible. It's getting ragged and the kids are several years older now. But every time I open my Bible to the marked page, I whisper a prayer for Laura and her family.

I had a favorite juice reamer. The vintage depression green glass juicer with a tab on the handle for juicing lemons and limes. I've broken three of them now. When I break one, it takes a long time to get to the antique mall or flea market to replace it. As I stroll through the rows and rows of vintage treasures, I come across objects from my past and I reflect on past relationships. And smile (or sometimes get a bit teary eyed).

I have a favorite casserole dish. It just seems to be the right size for many meals and it simply fits, period. While having dinner with friends several years ago, the lid broke when Deanne was carrying the casserole to the table. My casserole no longer has a cover, but every time I use the casserole, I whisper a prayer for Deanne.

We are all broken. We have pieces that are strewn across our landscape that cannot be fixed or restored to their original condition. What's really cool is that we don't have to fix them. I find comfort in my broken objects. Jesus will return one day and restore all the broken and dislocated pieces and make it perfect again.

Dear Jesus, as we travel through the Lenten Season, let us seek the broken. Thank you for broken stuff. Amen.

Carole Schumacher

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