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Awareness of brokenness – a baseline reality

By Dave Henning / January 12, 2018

“I didn’t know how to bring the knowledge in my head — the awareness of my brokenness as a baseline reality and a starting point for my need for Jesus — in line with the motions of my heart and my deep desire to feel whole . . .”- Ann Swindell

In Chapter 4 (“When Waiting Claims Your Identity”) of Still Waiting, Ann Swindell stresses that she loathed her “trich” identity.  Yet, she knew that identity comfortably.  Thus, she still had a face, or façade, to put forward.  She needed to mask her condition.

Furthermore, even though faith in Christ means acknowledging and accepting your brokenness, a cultural tug comes into play.  That cultural tug pulls us to maintain an identity and put a face forward — in both a literal and allegorical sense.  But, places exist in life where you need a façade.  As Ann notes, you can’t wear your heart on your sleeve for everyone!

Ultimately, however, how others perceive the size of your lack is immaterial.  For in your own heart, that lack potentially looms large.  Also, once you view yourself as an outcast, you carry that stigma in, as Ann describes, “the folds of your persona.”  Therefore, that stigma need not come from anyone else.

Most noteworthy, a major difficulty comes up when we start to define ourselves by what we lack.  We begin to obsess about it.  The author explains why she once found herself incredulous that Esau exchanged his birthright for a simple bowl of stew, yet now judges him less harshly.  Ann writes:

“When we experience that ravenous hunger for the one thing we so deeply desire, we all find ourselves tempted to give anything in exchange for it.  We assume that getting that one thing will be the key to permanently transforming our lives.”

Therefore, we need a baseline reality – an awareness of brokenness.

Today’s question: What Scriptures establish a baseline reality of your brokenness?  Please share.

Coming Monday: the new Short Meditation- “The sustaining face of God”

Tomorrow’s blog: “A deep-down ache — made for more”

About the author

Dave Henning


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