A Room Full of Broken People

I was one of the first to arrive. I sat and watched as people after me arrived, some close friends, some old friends, some acquaintances not seen for months, others new faces. I watched as they hugged, and welcomed each other, I noted the reactions to me being back. As I sat and observed, only partaking in the interactions around me when it was demanded of me, I noticed the hunched shoulders burdened with stress, the creased faces crafted by weariness, the neediness in the hugs exchanged, and the sighs  speaking of the struggles within. 


I observed as we worshipped, a variety of reactions. Some unable to bring themselves to sing such words. Others declaring the truth with such confidence. Yet others just reaching out for hope, for endurance, for a renewal of joy, for a glimpse of their Saviour in glory, CHOOSING to worship, to believe, to give thanks in their brokenness and the brokenness which surrounds in this place, each and every moment.


We shared our lowlights and our highlights of 2011. That was when the pain shone through the most. A small few among us found it hard to think of a lowlight, many could think of several painful points. And many simply confessed that 2011 just felt light one lowlight after another, like a constant struggle. And the vast majority of our lowlights revolved around this place, around the affects, and the consequences of living here. The pain, the hurt, the struggles, the sacrifices, were all laid bare. The raw wounds that this place had afflicted were on display.


Next we all picked a Bible verse out of a hat and had to share for 2 minutes on it. How it spoke to us, and how it applies to our situations here. That is when God shone through. All these people, my friends, my brothers and sisters, who had just exposed their cuts and sores, were now speaking of how much bigger God was. They CHOSE. They spoke of hope, and joy, and peace, of how God is the source of such things, and how they can never run out. They spoke of wisdom and guidance, of the need to continue to love and forgive, to love and forgive…. to love and forgive, after all the scars each one had from this place. They spoke of God’s goodness, of his ability to do great and wonderful things, of his faithfulness…. after the account of the years we had had.


A room full of broken people, CHOOSING to hold on, to have faith, to press in, to obey, and to continue. CHOOSING to trust, to praise, to give thanks, to love, and to know that He is faithful. And there, in that act of worship and sacrifice, was so much beauty. The beauty of a group of broken people declaring that God is bigger than their pain and despair.


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