Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Please, use my brokenness

Listen to this post:

I awoke with a new prayer on my lips and in my heart yesterday:
Please, use my brokenness.

Certainly, I have prayed for healing and for God to use me, but never to use my brokenness. Before the words formed, there was an image of a mosaic, specifically the cement binding all of the broken pieces together and I knew that's where God, silently and mysteriously, resides. If I can admit that I am I pieces and give them to God, then something transformative can happen. Nothing of my own volition can make this change. I have to totally surrender and let God work.

Am I brave enough for that surrender?

Yesterday in worship, I felt so empowered by the prayer even in the midst of messages about how, as Quakers, we should be socially active in the local Occupy movement. I wasn't sure how it even connected and I wanted to share my message, my new prayer, but it never felt right. Perhaps I wasn't brave enough. I am so broken, I thought, I can't focus, except for prayer, on another cause. And yet the prayer of using that brokenness charged me with energy and a feeling of empowerment. It brought me peace yesterday.

Today, I am totally broken and in pain in a way I have not experienced in several years. I thought I was healing and over this, I sobbed to myself. Why am I here again?

Of course, my tonic, a warm swimming pool, closed today for maintenance and I am at loose ends. I have committed to so much this week and having a lower back that feels like two boards that do not meet and prevents me from standing straight was not on that to-do list.

Back on the heels of a wonderful trip, I am helping an author-friend with his synopsis, writing a marketing proposal for a potential client and planning an elaborate Italian thank-you dinner for my girls' caregivers while we were away. Oh and sewing last-minute Halloween costumes.

That's the kind of rhythm I used to have, BF (before fibro). And what happens when I feel well and begin to jump back in? My body speaks up, radically. My body or God?

I also acknowledge that I was given a great gift of healing recently when a locked sacroiliac opened after 13 years. This could be the other side re-balancing for the slack it has carried for so long. But it could also still be God.

I have been trying to discern my path for what seems like an eternity. Merging my passion and talents with something that, well, actually pays me. That's the standard of success the world recognizes.

What does my heart recognize? I told my pastoral counselor that the way I live takes so much work because it's again the current. He said that's the way it is. A spiritual mentor said undertaking a spiritual path isn't easy. And I am so trying to understand the real-life aspect of living in this world but not of it. I would just as soon slip into my little cocoon of contemplation.

But God calls me elsewhere: to use, even show, my brokenness in a world that almost refuses to look.

• What new prayer have I been given?
• How am I living that?
• With whom may I share those challenges?
• How do I live in the world but not of it?
• What's my best method of discerning God's call?

a title

for me

living under the shadow
of brokenness is
not glitzy and
often devoid of
human companionship,
understanding or

and yet,
it IS where
God calls and
I have no choice
but to follow
but not always
or easily

may I find joy
along this road

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