This is the season of the year
when I am painfully aware of brokenness.
It was 13 years ago that my son’s body was broken beyond repair. Hit in the face with a piece of wood that spun out of control off the lathe in his wood shop class, Scott’s body crumbled to the cement floor on impact.
It was 13 years ago that we sat with countless friends and family to keep a 30-hour vigil, hoping and praying for a miracle that would allow Scott to survive. I remember bringing a picture of Scott to the hospital to show the doctors what Scott
looked like . . . before he was broken.
It was 13 years ago when we returned home to an empty house after hearing two neurologists declare our only son brain dead. I remember thinking . . . our family, our home, and our lives will never be
During this season of the year, I am reminded that God is the Master Potter. With gratitude, I read and re-read Jeremiah 18:1-4. This passage tells about God's desire to transform brokenness to wholeness.
The word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: “Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was working at his wheel. And the vessel he was making of clay was spoiled in the potter’s hand, and he reworked it into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”
Spoiled in the potter’s hand; those words have such deep theological meaning for me. You see, I am held in The Potter’s hand. Scott was held in The Potter’s hand. Our family, your family, all of creation is held in The Potter’s hand. Sometimes events of this world and our choices in life spoil, even break us.
How sad it would be if brokenness was a terminal condition like the shattered pot in the picture above.
But the promise of redemption is so clear in these verses. “He reworked it
(the broken pieces of the vessel)
into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to do.”
For Scott, his transformation meant healing in Eternity. It meant what seemed good to God was to use Scott’s death to draw others into the Kingdom.
For me, it means that God lovingly gathers
all those broken shards
laying around the floor of my heart,
and transforms the brokenness of my life,
my dreams, and my emotions –
into a vessel that is useful and whole.
I hope you noticed the
of the words above. God
, continually gathers, my brokenness, and lovingly transforms it into something new. As one who has lost a precious loved one, I know all too well that there is no such thing as closure. My grief and brokenness come upon me at various times of the year, at family events, or when I find objects that link me back to my precious Scott.
That is why I love God's example of broken pottery.
My cousin Dave, and his wife Rachel, are missional artists living in Germany. I appreciate how Dave's work at his potter’s wheel embodies the message of Jeremiah 18:1-4. Dave takes the broken pieces of pottery - the shards of broken clay laying on the studio floor and the excess pieces cut away by other artists, and
- transforming the broken pieces into something beautiful.
Nothing here is wasted. Even the mistakes and broken pieces can be restored into something beautiful.
It is my prayer for myself, and for you, that we will continue to trust The Potter with the shards of our lives, and trust Him to bring transformation.
to visit Dave’s blog to see his process of redeeming brokenness.