Brokenness can mean so many different things. I am learning what it means to be broken.
I have been challenged by this especially while in Haiti. You look around and see physical brokenness everywhere. The earthquake was almost 2 years ago and a lot of the rubble has been removed and recycled. Then, I drive by a tent city near us, I see Haitians living under shreds of fabric that used to be tarps or tents. A kid playing with a used water bottle as a toy. Poverty, Poor, and brokenness…
Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:3
The poor in spirit? What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Another translation, “How blessed is the man who knows he’s in need.” This morning a man outside my car at the airport asked me for a little money. I was thinking… He knows he has nothing, he knows he is in need. Could I ever do that if I was in his position?
We are to be spiritually poor only for the sake of becoming spiritually rich, detached from what we can own so that we can be attached in a different way to what we cannot own, detached from consuming so that we can be consumed by God. –Peter Kreeft, Back to Virtue
The kingdom of God can only be received by empty hands. This verse is a reminder to me of giving up my own attachments to this world. In our small window of time here in Haiti, the Haitians have taught me that though they are broken physically, at the same time, I have met some that have an amazing spirit of hope and empty hands toward God. A Haitian proverb I have learned in Creole class is:
espwa fè viv – hope makes life / hope makes us live
Makes me realize how I need to re-evaluate the meaning of brokenness. I can learn a lot about being broken in spirit. Humbly serving without my human nature getting in the way. The Message Bible says, You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
Thank you Haiti for teaching me this lesson!