Generous in sharing our brokenness

By Dave Henning / December 28, 2016

“Generosity does give birth to intimacy — but there’s a far deeper intimacy when we’re generous in sharing our brokenness.”- Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp begins Chapter 18 (“Why You Don’t Have to Be Afraid to Be Broken”) with a definition of faith.  Ms. Voskamp defines faith as “confidence in the kindness of God, no matter the confusion of circumstances.”

Furthermore, in that confusion of circumstances, it’s more than fearing any broken things.  We’re afraid to burden others with our problems.  Rather than break anyone’s heart, we bury our hurt.

Yet, Ann adds, we all need a safe place to come with our mess of broken.  Therefore, Ann offers the following thought on suffering:

“Maybe you can’t compare suffering, can’t rank or minimize suffering, but simply embrace it and all others suffering too.”

This, then, makes it possible for communion to happen.  Ann posits that communion only can happen when:

  • not only our strong parts are broken and given, but when we give our broken parts also
  • we give each other our brokenness
  • everything given out of our brokenness shows greater love through our willingness to suffer

Ann notes that we can’t imagine how great a capacity our heart has for pain.  That’s because our heart loves far greater than ever imagined.

As a result, Ann encourages, everyone needs someone to sit with them in the burn.  Ann describes what happens:

“This can turn the flames into a holy blaze.  Someone just choosing to be with you in the fire with a bit of theirs — can turn out to be better than anyone trying to extinguish your fire.  Shared flames and shared burn scars can ignite hearts into a great fire that fights fire.”

Today’s question: Please respond to Ann’s opening statement that “there’s a far deeper intimacy when we’re generous in sharing our brokenness.”

Tomorrow’s blog: “Full cruciformity”

About the author

Dave Henning

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