Lilli held her freebie coloring book and box of 5 crayons she had gotten yesterday from the grocery store. “Do you want to color with me?” she asked. Of course I did. She opened to a double page that had not yet been colored. “This side is mine, this side is yours, Mommy.” Lilli shook the crayons from the box. There were only three. She chose the red, I chose orange, and we began coloring our respective sides. “It doesn’t matter if things are the right color.” She said. “Where are the other 2 crayons?” I asked, wondering if I needed to go search the car since cheap-o crayons melt very easily.
“They broke so I threw them away.” She answered.
There were two pieces of the red one in Lilli’s hand. She groaned “Not again!”
“You don’t have to throw it away just because it broke. You can still color with it.”
“I don’t like the broken ones. I like the big ones.”
“Sometimes the broken ones are better.”
I challenged Lilli. “Draw a really skinny line with a whole one.”
She drew a line the width of the rounded tip of the crayon. I took a broken half of the red.
“Look at mine.” I said as I drew a fine line using the sharp edge.
“Wait- let me try again.” She doesn't like to be beat.
She drew several lines and so did I – with mine being skinnier every single time. “See?" I said,
"The broken one can do something the whole one can’t do.”
Then I thought about how that is true with each of us - and God. God is able to use us to accomplish things we would not be able to do had we never been broken. Can you truly console a person who has just lost a parent when both of your parents are still alive? Can you offer wise words to a boy about growing up fatherless if you are a girl who’s daddy is wrapped around her little finger? Can you empathize with a person who has been molested when you have never experienced such abuse? We are supposed to love, of course. You can love by being a friend no matter what your past experience. Love is ALWAYS the good and right choice. But often the love we can give after we have been broken is better.
I learned God-worship when my pride was shattered. Heart-shattered lives ready for love don't for a moment escape God's notice. Psalm 51:17 The Message
How has God used the broken places in your life?