Blessed to be Broken

God's not finished with me yet!

Before You Say Never

Caught up on Grey’s Anatomy over the weekend. The episode was called “Look Up Child”. One of the character doctor’s named Jackson went to visit the man who fathered him. His father left him and his mom when Jackson was a child. He had questions for his dad, Robert. Jackson was doing some internal searching on what to do with his life. Jackson asked his dad about the family business that he also left behind. By the way, the family business is referred to as the “foundation.” They pretty much have tons of money. Anyways, Robert began explaining a bit about his lack of enthusiasm for the foundation. He said, “I was never gonna be the son my father wanted, because I didn’t wanna be the man the role required.”

As you can well imagine, Robert’s father was none too happy that he wanted no part in the family business. He had a few less than desirable things to say about his son. Things that left an impact. Things that he allowed sink in, take hold and shape his worth. Things that led him to believe his son was better off without him. The relationship Robert had with his dad affected another generation.

By worldly standards, it would be easy to see a dead beat dad instead of a wounded soul. Our decisions/choices matter. Our words, matter.

Getting caught up in the trap that we are the masters of people lives is nothing new. It’s been going on for thousands of years. Social media has made it worse.

I want to get back to that statement Robert said, “I was never gonna be the son my father wanted, because I didn’t wanna be the man the role required.”

Never-that’s a long time to think something about yourself. Yet we do it everyday. Go ahead and think about the last time you claimed that over your life.

“I’ll never be as pretty as her.”
“I’ll never be that good at….”
“I’ll never be that muscular.”
“I’ll never lose this baby weight.”
“I’ll never ________________________ (fill in your “never”)

The list could go on and on. When we think of ourselves in a negative way and what we lack, we set ourselves up for our own failure.

Robert didn’t need to be the son he thought his father wanted. Robert’s identity was not in who his father wanted him to be. It also was not in the job he chose.

Every time we tie our identity to things of this earth, it’s imperative to know those things are temporary and can be taken away at any time.

Many people think they’re the job they do. I used to one of them. My brother was another who believed he was the job he did. I watched him fail to find purpose after he retired. He was lost, broken, and couldn’t find his way out of the bottom of a bottle. He spoke non-affirming words over himself and bought into the lies he believed to be true. Some of those lies were from his own thoughts, some were given to him in anger and some were given to him in hate. Our words matter. I can’t say that enough.

I loved my brother. I miss him greatly. He left a void. But, this earth was not his true home. I wish he could’ve seen himself reflected in the eyes from the ones who loved him best. But, even our best could not outmatch the One who loved him more than anyone ever could. One who loved him unconditionally. One who wanted the absolute best for him. One who died to give him life. One who created him for more than he could’ve ever imagined.

The same One who loved my brother like that, loves you like that. You’re not hidden from His view. No matter what you think you know about God, I guarantee it doesn’t even come close to what He knows about you.

But, that’s a relationship you’ll have to build. When you’re ready. When you’ve had your fill of the world and what it has to offer. Or more so, what it wants to take. You may think like I used to, God wants to take things from you, but that’s not who He is. It’s in your surrender, your giving up, where you’ll find beauty from ashes. It’s a personal choice my friends, because He’s a personal God.

He’s the Giver, we’re the receiver. But, don’t take my word for it. Read it for yourselves from James 1:17

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” (NIV)

The beauty is that He gives you the gift of free will. He allows you to believe in Him or not. But before you say you’ll never believe in Him, take a chance and get to know Him. Not because I told you to, but because you know there’s something more that’s been “calling” you. I promise you won’t be sorry for answering that call.

Have a beautiful day friends!

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A gift to bring

drummerAs a child growing up in a dysfunctional home, I found various things and places to fill the absence of love, to find my happy, to make the world go away.  Television became an escape from the reality of all the yuck.

I especially loved the Christmas shows that came on once a year.  Unlike today where they are readily available, if you missed a show back then, you didn’t get to see it for another year, so you can imagine how upsetting it could be to miss even one.  Seriously, devastating!

I’m happy to see the cartoons of old are still loved by many today.  Most of them have a wonderful message to share, why even the mean ol’ Grinch came around from his grinchiness and  concluded “Maybe Christmas, he thought…doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps…means a little bit more!”  Ummm, ya think?

I’m sure you have your favorite and even those you despise. Of all the Christmas cartoons, growing up and most of my adult life, I have to say The Little Drummer Boy was my least favorite, and yet to fill that void, I would still watch it.  The story always made me cry. Always.  I watched it just recently and sure enough, it made me all weepy.  Doesn’t seem to matter I know what’s going to happen, and even knowing the ending..there I am, grabbing my Kleenex.

The Little Drummer Boy animated claymation version of which I’m referring to first aired on December 19, 1968.

For years I watched this show and it held no significant meaning for me.  It was just a sad stroy, with a fairly happy ending.  To me, it was all about the lamb.  Aaron’s lamb.

In the beginning of the story, the narrator spoke of a decree from Caesar Augustus stating that the world should be taxed.  In order for this to happen, the people would need to travel back to their own land.  Growing up, that type information fell under the subject “History” and quite frankly, I didn’t care for history.

We find in Luke, Chapter 2:1-3 (KJV):

“And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

(And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.”  Means they had to all go back where they came from.

So in Verses 4-6 it states:

 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.”

Now that I have a relationship with God, I think..that’s pretty cool…it’s biblical.  Just in a condensed version.

The story goes on to tell of a little boy who was the son of a Sheppard who loved his life.  From the outside looking in, Aaron had an idyllic childhood. Parents who loved him, roof over his head and presents for his birthday.  On his birthday his father gives him a drum.  And instantly he’s a rock star, plays the drum so well, his animals dance to the beat.

Then one night, bandits decide to attack their home and everything that is near and dear to Aaron is taken from him.  All he has left is his drum and his friends….Samson, his donkey; Joshua, his camel and Baba his lamb. The devastation of this night causes Aaron to hate all people.  Not just those who killed his family….but ALL people.  He is filled with anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness and wants nothing to do with people.  He judges them all alike…through the eyes of hatred.

Next poor Aaron’s just going along and boom he’s being kidnapped by the oh so greedy Ben Haramed and his goofy side kick Ali (ahli).  Haramed wants to use Aaron and his dancing crew to make money so he can pay the taxes that have been levied.  So the band of misfits head into Jerusalem to the town square where they fail miserably with their performances.  Aaron lashes out irrationally at the townspeople because he thinks everyone should be as miserable as he is and the motley crew are run out of town.

So, the little band of misfits retreat and eventually happen upon the Three Wise Men’s caravan. What they fail to notice is the very bright star and its glory in the sky.  Haramed can’t see past his greed and Aaron can’t see past his hatred and anger.  The wise men have no time to be entertained as they need to follow the star and they shoo the misfits away.  However, one of the camels in the King’s caravan is too worn out to complete the journey so Haramed sells Aaron’s beloved camel Joshua to the royal caravan.

Now that Haramed has his beloved gold, he lets Aaron leave.  So off Aaron, Samson and baba go in search of Joshua.  They follow the star as they knew that’s what the wise men were doing and that inevitably leads them to Bethlehem where they see….exactly what they were looking for…the kings’ caravan and Joshua.  In their excitement and haste to get to reunited with Joshua, little baba gets run over by a chariot.

Aaron is heartbroken and he just knows the wisemen can help him because after all, they are Kings.  The wiseman  Aaron approaches, tells him that he cannot help him and indeed his lamb is close to death.  Aaron responds “but you are a king.” To which the king says, he is a king, but a mortal king.  He tells Aaron to go to the babe to which Aaron replies, “I have no gift to bring.”  But, he tenderly lays baba down and he approaches the babe lying in the manager.

As he fixes his eyes on the newborn, Aaron is caught up in the beauty of this baby and since he has nothing of material value to place before the babe, he picks up his drum and he plays for him.

In that moment, Aaron is playing only for the baby Jesus.  He is giving the gift of his drum playing back to the one who gave him the gift in the first place.  So you see, he did have a gift to bring.  He didn’t have to wrap in up in paper and bows and make it all sparkly and pretty.  He went just as he was.  Heartbroken and full of hate.

But as he played for Jesus and his focus was on worshipping Jesus through his drum playing instead of his problems what happened?  God saw Aaron’s act of “simple desperation stemmed out of pure love” and He healed baba.  Aaron’s heart is filled with love and his spirit with joy. He was then convicted of his hatred and knew it was wrong…the narrator said so.

I guess the simple lesson learned here is that we all have a gift to bring.  It doesn’t have to be fancy, it doesn’t have to be big or showy, it just needs to come from the heart.  Jesus has everything.  Everything that He’s given us was well thought out and to be used for the glory and honor of His Kingdom.  He’s placed different gifts in each of us…how we use them is our gift back to Him.  I’ll end with the verse the show used…”Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.”  Matthew 5:8

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