Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Bearing the Burden of Bottomless Brokenness

HEALING is the role of God under the premise of our brokenness. But just how far does God’s healing reach? Just as far as our brokenness goes! And where our brokenness appears as a bottomless abyss, we can be sure that God’s Presence will fill every fissure of that cavernous expanse.
But how can we know that?
Well, first of all, we can know that our brokenness can feel truly bottomless — like the bottom fell out of the box, and the contents of our emotions are strewn haphazardly, exposed for all to see on the floor.
Times we ran shrieking (within) from the building, when we could no longer contain such visceral panic, were times we knew our world was entirely without foundation.
Times like these we had to manufacture some safety for ourselves. God’s wisdom provided. Times like these, when circumstances swarm, hemming us in and around, when feelings flood our bodies and minds, we have but one viable and safe escape: the safety of God’s containment.
The Safety of God’s Containment Within a Structure of Care
There is care out there and there is the care of God; the Lord’s safe containment of the struggles endemic. Let’s get that straight.
So often we feel — no, we know — we’re alone, only to completely misread the care that’s available to us. Isolation is a cruel joke to a person plummeting from one place of relative insecurity to another.
The more honest we are the more vulnerable we feel. But, in a paradoxical twist, we cannot know who we are unless we’re honest. So, to honesty we add care. We protect ourselves from being vulnerable until we’re in a safe place to be held and contained.
Bearing the burden of a bottomless sense of brokenness is about knowing how to access the care we need; to find the person who will listen to us and not give up on us.
Care is something to be shared, and if we’ve been through anything a broken person is going through, we’re motivated to reach out in order to reach into their lives.
Compassion is the kindness of care to assist a person bearing the burden of their brokenness. It costs nothing to listen, to hear, to seek to understand, to be silent. Much therapy is done in simply being present with someone in pain.
Bearing the burden of a bottomless brokenness is best done in the company of the compassionate.
Brokenness is a burden not to be hoarded, but shared, where safety of heart is a sacred space.
© 2015 Steve Wickham.

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