#5&#6: Days of Grace

Yesterday through this morning I was a tyrant. I will admit my stress over projects for school had taken over. Especially regarding my Communist Ballet paper…. I felt I was so immersed in it I couldn’t clearly write my topic. Slowly sleep deprivation and resentment towards my inability to write clouded me even further.

God has continued to give me grace when I am stressed. I’m truly thankful to people who can love me at my worst. When I am stressed, and when I doubt myself, and when I make bad choices because of that.

Recently I have been feeling my brokenness and the brokenness of this world. Sometimes there’s not a perfect way to do something. My perfectionism says there must be. But I know my ways will always be less than perfect.

But if I am vulnerable about my shortcomings then I see grace. It’s not that grace extended is dependent on us. But it is as if we are crouched on the ground with our head facing down. A shadow appears over us. And we know that should we look into the eyes of another being we will lose face. All the pain inside may coming tumbling over in the form of tears… We can ignore the figure above us. We can turn to anger. Or we can let the tears roll and allow ourselves to be touched with Grace.


The Way We Are & Our Broken Ways

Christmas Eve Eve (that is the eve of Christmas eve) I took my two younger brothers and baby sister (who is now quite old, at the age of 9) out to the movies. We saw Dolphin Tale, which is the touching story of a beached baby dolphin who has been injured in a crab trap. I’ll try not to spoil the entire movie for you, as it is worth seeing, but infection spreads in the tail of the dolphin and they have to amputate. It’s really a great story about over-coming pride and any disability you may have. The story also made me think of humanity. How do we deal with the brokenness we face?

We live in a broken world, filled with broken things, and broken lives, and broken people. Winter, (the dolphin–who is actually a real animal with a real story), learns to swim on her own without a tail. This is incredible–that a dolphin could swim without a tail. Her caretakers, then, find that her wriggling side-to-side motion used to swim is causing damage to her spine.

Think about this, in our brokenness we find ways to make it work. And we can make it work for a long time. In our brokenness we learn how to deal with things. We wriggle by. We’re swimming, it’s working, it’s not as effective as it would be if we were whole, but it’s working. We just wriggle through our lives. Making it work however we can, yet, in the process, we’re damaging our life-strand (spinal cord). Maybe some of us have dealt with this on a real, physical level. I’m sure all of us deal with it on a spiritual and mental level. We’re just getting by with wriggling. We’re making it work… yet it’s some how not good enough.

We can’t live on like that. Making our brokenness work on our own will eventually kill us. We were never intended to wriggle. We were intended to swim. But how? How should we swim without a tail?

The story of Winter ends happily. The story of Winter ends in a prosthetic tail. And her story inspired adults and humans from a young girl in a wheel chair to veterans in the VA hospital. She learned to swim and her testimony intrigued and encouraged those around her to learn to swim too–and to accept help in their brokenness.

We have to be willing to accept the help. Winter rejects many attempts to help her. We do the same. We’re proud. We don’t like help. We don’t feel like we need it. We’re doing just fine. But do we realize how we’re hurting ourselves? We have to be willing to accept help in our brokenness. We have to be willing to become vulnerable.

When we surrender, God can heal us. It feels weird–it is right. He can make it work in ways that are whole, even when we are broken. We can take on Him to fulfill the things we cannot. Other people come into our lives to make up for the way we can’t do it on our own. We learn to swim with the help of our prosthetic tail. We’re made whole in our brokenness. We become inspiring.

This is the last thing I want to leave you with. Your broken story is inspiring. Because you’re learning to swim. Whether you’re wriggling or your swimming with a prosthetic tail you’re in this journey. Your story is part of you and it’s worth telling. Your vulnerability is inspiring.

Jesus said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. — 2 Corinthians 12:9.