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Beauty out of Brokenness

by Tina Goolsbybroken-china-1.jpg

edited by Melissa Forney

It happened very unexpectedly. Ten hand sculpted ceramic angels, representing hours of work and hundreds of dollars, lay in ruins. Somehow, just as I was putting them into the kiln, I had bumped the tray they were on. Broken wings, crushed gowns and battered bodies remained where beauty stood seconds before. How could this have happened to me, whose record was 150 angels completed without a single break?

At first I was frozen with shock. Then I looked for someone to blame. Angry and crying, I felt weak with discouragement. A week's worth of work! I was too overcome to face the damage. "I can't cope with this!" I cried out loud, pitying my loss of time and income.

"I can't cope!"  I'd heard those words many times before, but in different circumstances. God had given me a special ministry to women with a history of abuse. Often, by the time I heard their stories, they were victims of devastating cruelty. Time after time I listened to women with shattered lives, broken by despair, rejection and divorce. Just when they had the hope of a beautiful life unfolding, something happened, crashing their chances into a pile of ruin. God never gave up on them. It always amazed me. He picked them up from the depths, recreating beauty out of brokenness. No fragment was too tiny for the Heavenly Father to heal. He specialized in putting each fragile piece back into place. I'd seen the miracle over and over.

In the silence of my kitchen I heard the ticking of the clock. Reason began to return. Hope started to grow. I looked down and the tiny broken pieces of the shattered angels to see what could be salvaged. The mending process for each angel was tedious and took longer than it had to start from scratch. By anyone else's standard, the broken sculptures were not redeemable, but I knew differently, I was their creator.angel.jpg

Some pieces were so fragile that special tools were required for the exacting work. Some fragments of clay were melted and used as glue to strengthen parts. I used my sculptors knife to scrape away excess clay and smooth the surface of each individual face. I could hardly wait for the kiln to do it's work.

The results were radiant. The angels emerged as new, strengthened in body and lovely in form. But they were not for sale. Beautifully poised on my mantel piece, they belonged to me. More precious than any others I had created.

I know that God is truly the Master Sculptor. When we have to suffer brokenness for any reason, He values us and can make us whole again by His expert touch. Because of God's loving kindness, I daily experience the reality of God's plan and witness his working in my life. No matter what, He can make Beauty Out of Brokenness.