The Value of Brokenness

Today's Guest Blogger is Justin Vess, a long-time friend of mine and former roommate. I'm honored to share his story here. The Value of Brokenness

When we speak of things broken, we naturally think of something that has lost its usefulness.  We think, in a sense, of waste, regardless of its previous worth.

Priceless vases, heirlooms, glassware, machinery; when its broken, we instinctively go to throw it away.  Unless, of course, we can see the value in the broken things.  Those who can are blessed with the gift of creation, and restoration.  They are the craftsmen, the artists, the experts in repurposing, redefining, and recreating that which was once refuse.

Majestic works of glass are created by crushing and refining broken glass.  It doesn’t matter what it was before.  What matters is that it’s broken, and ready to be refined.  The same is true of precious metals.  They are broken down, stripped of everything but their very core, crushed and refined to be remolded and reborn into marvelous works of art, the very foundations of science and progress, and the inventions that shape the world around us.

Our lives are no different.

When we are broken, we only see our brokenness, and so does the vast majority.  However, there is a creator, the master of refinement, who can redesign and repurpose anyone or anything.  The only requirement- brokenness.  To be remade, and to be reborn into a purpose greater than that which you designed for yourself, you must first be broken, crushed, defeated.  You must reach the point of letting go of control, and let Him remake you.

Failure is closely associated with brokenness, and often leads to the latter.  Introspectively, we sense the sting of failure as a sign of defect, but failure should only serve to prove that it is not who or what we are that is defective, but the plans we have made for ourselves.

Failure is inevitable when we throw out the blueprints of the master, and replace them with our own design.

This leads to a malfunction, because we were not created to act according to our own design, and we will break.  We will reach the point of failure.  When this happens, it’s imperative to let ourselves break, pick up the pieces, and lay them on the table to be fully disassembled, crushed, melted, and redesigned once more.

This is the essence of grace and redemption: brokenness, refinement, and rebirth.

--Justin