Spiritual Reflections

Not All That Are Broken Have Lost Their Meaning

As I child, I’ve always thought that our family would stay together forever. That we’d have each other every Christmas and New Year. That we’ll always have our house. That we’ll always have our memories.

As a teen, I’ve always thought that my intellect and skills would be more than enough to make me successful in life. That I can pursue any dream, chase after any career. That I can accomplish all that I have set my heart and mind on.

As an adult, I’ve always thought I’d be able to find that person whom I know will stay with me until I grow old. That I would have all the experience and wisdom I need to overcome any problems. That I would have the confidence to overcome my fears, and someday die without regrets.

As I am now, I am broken. Broken from my childhood expectations. Broken from my teenage aspirations. Broken from my adult ruminations.

But not all that are broken have lost their meaning.

Thinking about it, we’ve been broken far more times than we actually realize. From our toddler days when we thought we could have everything we ask for— whether it be through sweetness or tantrums, to countless ever-shifting paradigms on politics, romance, society, technology and all these worlds-changing knowledge and advancements.

Take the kid whose first romantic notion was born after watching an old Disney film, and fast-forward to his/her first semi-heartbreak on an unrequited or misguided infatuation.

Take the youngster who always got praised, always got noticed, always was smarter; fast-forward to college and beyond, and to all the experiences that disprove such, or make one understand how futile all these things really were.

Take the sentimental lover who promised and was promised.

Take the radical idealist whose will was broken by the stubborn, unchanging society hypocritically crying for change.

I ache with the broken, because in certain aspects— I, too, am. I know the horrible feeling of helplessness of trying to piece things back together, and hope, vainly hope, that things will return to normal. They rarely, if not never, do.

But I also stand against the broken, because in certain respects— I, too, was. And am. I know how shortsighted we become in our pain, and verily so that all disagreeable arguments (this included) may seem insensitive if not uncaring. And maybe it is because we misunderstood what hope is and should be about, and definitely it’s never about our temporary, selfish whims.

Let’s take the broken glass, which we simply throw away— useless, harmful. And it is true.

Let’s take the broken devices, electronic or otherwise; why keep it when we can simply buy a new one? And that is also true.

Let’s take all the broken things, and agree that most of us would be better off throwing these away than keeping them. Because it is true; we should never hold on to such that only hinders us from enjoying what is good and better.

But how does one throw away a broken heart? How do I throw away a broken memory? Should we then throw away broken relationships and families? What should we do with a broken nation? What then of broken promises and honor?

What of us, who are the broken?

Should we also be discarded from this world, disregarded by society as undesirables?

At this, I can only cling to faith— that faith which brought the sick to Christ and find healing, that faith which led the social outcasts to find acceptance in Christ, that faith which guided generations of misfits to act and speak in His behalf, that faith which has constantly mocked the world’s standards of what’s good and nice and ideal and perfect.

For by faith, we smile despite the sadness.

For by faith, we press on despite being tired and heavy-hearted.

For by faith, we keep dreaming despite our harsh realities.

For by faith, we remain whole despite being broken.

Not all that are broken have lost their meaning. Sometimes, we are allowed to break in order for us to appreciate what God has really meant for our good.

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