Hope is a Busted Rock

April 17th, 2009

I got thinking about this the other day while talking to a friend who is going through a huge struggle in their life. Talk about feeling hopeless! But at one point they said something to me that made a whole lot of sense especially as I look back on my own life and thoughts. They told me that one day I would open my eyes and see just how broken they really were.

Initially I was a little offended by the comment thinking that they must either think I’m blind or that they’ve done such a marvelous job of concealing their flaws. But as I began to reflect on what exactly they said and the situation they were in, another idea came into my head. Right now they are in a position that has no winners. Seemingly, their life is falling apart and there is no way to salvage some of the most valuable things they treasure. Those things will be lost forever and he’s seemingly helpless to do anything to stop it. But in the depth of his state right now, his comment made an impact on me and I thought of what I wrote yesterday which certainly fits with my life and what I’ve been through.

I wrote: “Every piece of magnificent sculpture is merely a broken stone made marvelous by the loving hands of it’s Creator.” Hey, that was me. There I was this block of stone, nearly as stupid, thinking I could do anything and was alright just being by myself and that it was OK to roll over people. But in my arrogance, one day I found out that I was broken. Perhaps one day I will muster up the courage to tell you all about that tragic fall and subsequent rise but for now suffice it to say that I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that I was broke and I needed to be shaped into something useful, and so I surrendered. It wasn’t my choice. My choice was to be that stupid stone and just be by myself. But as the old saying goes, no man is an island unto himself and I needed to learn that.

I look at the sculptures of stone and marble around the world and I no longer see the stone, but the creation of something nearly alive out of something full of faults and cracks as the skilled eye, hand, tools and vision were put to the task to bring that depth and beauty out of the cold and useless stone. The artist saw something in that stone and broke it in order to bring beauty out of it.

Every great sculpture begins with a stone, strong and powerful.  But before it can be anything that we appreciate as art, it’s got to be broken and chipped, sanded and worked over.  Its a dirty and messy process and much like our lives, it can be made into something beautiful despite what be begin with.  Many of us are chipped and broken.  Cracks and flaws riddle our lives but there is hope.  You can be made into something magnificent to behold.  It really doesn’t matter what the situation that you are in.  Drugs, alcohol abuse, sexual addictions, gambling, abuse? Something else?  There is hope to get out of it and have your life turned around.

I allowed the loving hands of the Lord to begin to work over the clay of my life to mold me and make me into who He wants me to be.  I rebelled and He allowed me to move, misshapen as I was, forward in my life.  When I realized I was just a fool, I toppled over, finally surrendering at the foot of the cross, right where He wanted me to be.  The Lord works on our lives chipping away all the garbage we attach like barnacles to ourselves.  He smooths over rough surfaces that cause us to rub people wrong.  He knocks off the sharp corners that cause us to cut people deep in order that we can sooth rather than slice.  And most times, He will bring just as flawed people as we are into our lives so that we can trust in Him together so none of us get any of the credit that only He so richly deserves.  We truly learn to lean on Him, through His Son, by the power of the Holy Spirit.  He is the Great Sculpture and we are merely the broken stones so needing to be made into something beautiful.

Hang in there, come back again.  You chip a little off me and I’ll try to sand a little on you and together we will become a little closer to the masterpieces we were meant to be.  Iron really does sharpen iron.

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