To alive is to be broken

Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel, 64:

To be alive is to be broken. And to be broken is to stand in need of grace. Honesty keeps us in touch with our neediness and the truth that we are saved sinners. There is a beautiful transparency to honest disciples who never wear a false face and do not pretend to be anything but who they are.

When a man or woman is truly honest (not just working at it), it is virtually impossible to insult them personally. There is nothing there to insult. Those who were truly ready for the kingdom were just such people. Their inner poverty of spirit and rigorous honesty had set them free. They were people who had nothing to be proud of.

The day God broke my heart and changed my life (again)

Original post: March 19, 2008; update: January 26, 2010. March 19 was the day I think God really spoke to me about the direction of my life; this was the day that God really broke my heart for justice; this was the day I found my calling.

Part of the fun (I use that term ironically) of letting God do what he wants is that he may (read: often, at least in my experience) do some breaking, so that we don’t carry all of our preconceptions and pride and baggage with us. So in tandem with the excitement of the last week, God’s also been breaking me. Seriously.

Shattering.

And it hasn’t been comfortable, even though I know it’s good for me.

The following is a mosaic of words from songs and books (Shane Claiborne’s The Irresistible Revolution, U2’s When I Look at the World, Broken by Lifehouse, and Jars of Clay’s God Will Lift Up Your Head; oh, and the Bible) that I’ve been reading and listening to lately. God is messing me up.

I’m falling apart, I’m barely breathing; with a broken heart that’s still beating. In the pain, there is healing; in your name, I find meaning. So I’m holding on, I’m barely holding on to you …

Thus says the Lord: maintain justice, and do what is right, for soon my salvation will come, and my deliverance will be revealed.

We are called not to be successful but to be faithful.

Is not this the fast I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke?

When you look at the world, what is it that you see?

Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see them naked, to cover them?

When there’s all kinds of chaos and everyone is walking lame.

Love your neighbor as yourself. We are the body of Christ, the hands and feet of Jesus to the world. Christ is living inside of you and me, walking the earth.

So I try to be like you, try to feel it like you do. But without you it’s no use; I can’t see what you see when I look at the world.

Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly. … Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, “Here I am.”

We can admire and worship Jesus without doing what he did. … We can adore his cross without taking up ours.

And I am here still waiting, though I still have my doubts; I’m hanging on another day just to see what you will throw my way. And I’m hanging on to the words you say; you said that I will be okay.

I can’t wait any longer, I can’t wait till I’m stronger. I can’t wait any longer to see what you see when I look at the world …

Give to the wind your fear; hope and be undismayed. God hears your sighs and counts your tears; God will lift up your head!

Leave to His sovereign sway to choose and to command …

Through waves and clouds and storms, He gently clears the way. Wait coz in His time, so shall this night soon end in joy. Soon end in joy.

Links of the Day, August 13

The Time Traveler’s Wife had its premiere last night.

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It comes out this Friday, and I’m pretty stoked. (Only a little bit because I may be in love with Rachel McAdams.) Also, Lifehouse contribute a song to the soundtrack.

News

Human trafficking

Health care

Green

Miscellaneous

A Broken Romantic

After my ‘poetic’ post a few days ago, I got a few responses from friends (and family) asking if I was in love and who was she, or extolling my romanticism. Actually, the post was inspired by a woman—one of my best female friends; it was in the context of a conversation with her that we reminisced about the time I sent her a poem that I’d been studying in an A-level English Lit class, coz I loved it so much (‘Words, Wide Night’).

As for the second question … I remember the days when I was young and impetuous; whenever I thought I was ‘falling in love’, I’d let myself go all-out. In those days, I suppose I was a romantic, buying gifts and flowers, hanging out so I could open doors for whoever I happened to be ‘in love’ with at the time. It feels like an age ago …

Now … I’m a little more jaded, more cynical, more aware of my limitations and how much it really, really hurts when things don’t work out the way we hope. Now, I’m (a little) more guarded, more broken and put-back-together:

The broken clock is a comfort; it helps me sleep tonight
Maybe it can stop tomorrow from stealing all my time
I am here still waiting though I still have my doubts
I am damaged at best, like you’ve already figured out

I’m falling apart, barely breathing
With a broken heart that’s still beating
In the pain, I find healing
In your name, I find meaning
So I’m holding on, I’m holding on, I’m holding on
Barely holding on to you

The broken locks were a warning: you got inside my head
I tried my best to be guarded; I’m an open book instead
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose; they’re still looking for life

I’m hanging on another day
Just to say what you will throw my way
And I’m hanging on to the words you say
You said that I will be okay

The broken lights on the freeway left me here alone
I may have lost my way home; haven’t forgotten my way home

I’m falling apart, barely breathing
With a broken heart that’s still beating
In the pain, I find healing
In your name, I find meaning
So I’m holding on, I’m holding on, I’m holding on
Barely holding on to you

— Lifehouse, “Broken”