Loss delivered grief to my doorstep. Grief, though uninvited, entered my storyline. Brokenness is like an unwelcomed yet ever-present guest. Painful loss forced me to come face-to-face with the effects of the Fall of Man. Again. When you experience a significant loss, the grief does not leave you alone. For a long time. And I’ve concluded it’s ugly. Very ugly.
Like sin and evil.
As I continue to delve into brokenness, I see that God agrees with me. Or better said, I agree with him. Loss is horrible. You’re tempted to deflect attention. Downplay your loss. You don’t want to mess up everyone else’s perfect life. You don’t want to be a downer all the time. But ignoring your loss, as I have learned, would be a massive mistake.
When I saw brokenness in my life, I saw more clearly that the entire world is broken.
“You are not your own, for you were bought with a price.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Brokenness is worse than I knew. Dire.
I was simply unaware. Better said, I knew it in my head but not so sure I knew it in my heart. Knowing it and feeling its weight are not the same.
Brokenness is all around us. We’re infected with it because the world is held captive to the effects of sin. Death. Pain. Crime. Hate. Loss. Accidents. Strife. Disasters. I could go on.
Brokenness is more dire, more insidious than I knew.
“For he himself is our peace…that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility.” Ephesians 2:14-16
Dive deep into loss and, eventually, you come to comprehend that the cross of Jesus Christ is the price paid to overwhelm the loss and brokenness of the world. The victory is already-but-not-yet. We live in the here-and-now. The world is a painful place. The world is pain-filled. Loss is debilitating at times. Some pain is worse than others, but it’s all loss. And it’s everywhere.
“There is no more comforting message in the world than the one preached from the cross of Jesus Christ, and there are no more powerful promises of transformation than those found in the grace of that cross.” Paul David Tripp, New Morning Mercies
The temptation is to pull away from loss. The tendency for most is to put a premature bandage on the wound. It’s easier to divert your attention and think happier thoughts. But stay with the loss, get comfortable with it, and you will learn a lesson.
Brokenness is more dire, more insidious than you knew.
As you dive deeper to face and process your loss, your eyes are somehow lifted, and you see the exponential brokenness across the world. In an amazing twist, your eyes are lifted from your own problems. The pain in your locale comes into focus. Brokenness around the world is clearer. The reporters deliver news reports about it. Incomprehensible pain surrounds us. Conflict is evident. Hatred spills out. Hunger. War. Disease.
At first you didn’t even really notice the brokenness of the world. But then, the brokenness of the world visits you personally. And as you press into your own loss to heal, you see that it’s a world-wide pandemic of brokenness and loss. Pervasive. Unimpeded. The loss of the world is overwhelming. And it’s so bad it cost Jesus his life. The cross was necessary because brokenness is so dire.
The brokenness is more dire than you knew.
The brokenness of the world required the gospel story, the Son of God, and the cross to overwhelm it.
“By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers.” 1 John 3;16