Broken

Sometimes I wonder what the point is. Sometimes I look at the world and all I see is brokenness. Sometimes I look at my life and all I see is brokenness. Sure, I see that where many families would have fallen apart, we stayed together and grew in love, flawed as it is. We’ve had our rocky moments but I think, thank God, that my children are going to be ok. They have been through such a lot, but each of them is, I hope, secure in the knowledge that he or she is loved and worthy of love. Each child has hopes and dreams for the future and understands that they have to work to reach those dreams (to a greater or lesser degree). Each child also has a knowledge of God, again to a greater or lesser degree… Prince’s understanding of Christianity is – of necessity – very simple. It boils down to ‘God is love. He teaches us to love. Be kind. Where you have done wrong, say sorry.’

I have a wonderful husband, who gives me more than words can say. I hope I give him what he needs, too. He has been enormously supportive throughout our marriage (we celebrate five years this year!) and even more so these past few months during EMDR. My husband always sees things in me that I never see in myself. He always has. Ours was definitely a match made in heaven.

But then I look at me. I’m nearly 40. I’m still going through therapy. When will my life begin? When will I experience normality? When will I be able to serve God more fully?

So I said to God, “Dear God, how can I be of use to You when I am like this – broken and jagged and anxious and broken and…”

I had hardly begun this (admittedly rather truculent) prayer when into my mind came an image of Christ on the cross. He was weak. He was scorned. Naked. Shamed. Humiliated. Tortured. Nails through his flesh to enhance the suffering. Broken.

“This is my body, broken for you.” The words flashed into my mind as the image changed: Jesus with the disciples, sharing the final meal, speaking the words that would become a gift for His followers.

The image changed again: bread and wine raised aloft as the priest repeats Jesus’ words; words that have echoed through the centuries. “Take, eat. This is my body… Do this in remembrance of me…”

*****

Jesus was broken. I am broken. We are all broken, in different ways. Brokenness is the most remarkable thing about the Gospel. Brokenness was taken down from the cross all crumpled and empty. In grief and sorrow brokenness was carried and laid in a tomb, carefully wrapped in cloth. The shell-shocked stragglers walked away.

But that wasn’t the end of the story.

Watch and Pray

‘When it was evening, Jesus and the twelve disciples sat down to eat. During the meal Jesus said, “I tell you, one of you will betray me.”

The disciples were very upset and began to ask him, one after the other, “Surely, Lord, you don’t mean me?”

Jesus answered, “One who dips his bread in the dish with me will betray me. The Son of Man will die as the Scriptures say he will, but how terrible for that man who will betray the Son of Man! It would have been better for that man if he had never been born!”

Judas, the traitor, spoke up. “Surely, Teacher, you don’t mean me?” he asked.

Jesus answered, “So you say.”

Matthew 26:20-25 (GNT)

He had always loved those in the world who were his own, and he loved them to the very end.

John 13:1b (GNT)

We follow Jesus as he washes the feet of the disciples – even Judas. We follow him as he walks to the garden. We follow him as he falls to his knees and cries out in anguish to his Father. Like the disciples who fell asleep when they were meant to be keeping watch, we too (despite ourselves) fall asleep, become distracted, confused, weary. Like the disciples, it’s not that we don’t love, but that we’re scared. We’re human. But:

‘Betrayal isn’t the end of the story; man’s salvation is.’

From The Little Way of Lent

by Fr. Gary Caster

Forgive me, Lord, for all the times I fall asleep when I should be leaning on you with every inch of my being. Forgive me for all the times my frailty lets you down. I am nothing without you. Thank you for the gift of the Eucharist, for the gift of yourself. Stay with me. Remain here with me, Father, for you are the ground of all my beseeching.

Amen