Super Glue, Broken Things, and Wholeness

“Mom, I have to show you,” my three-year-old said.

She had dragged in the cat bed while I was in the shower and as I got ready for the day, 053she chattered away about what she had collected from around the house.  Out came some books, some toys, some Barbie clothes.

She giggled about them. How funny to pile them all into the cat bed!

Then she reached the bottom and stepped back nervously, asking me to peek inside for the final object.

I leaned in closer for a look.  Picking up the mystery object, I fingered it and spun it in my hands until I realized that I was holding a small head.

I glanced back at my tiny girl, shifting nervously on her feet, her eyes moist and ready to overflow with tears.

“Did it break?”  She nodded and I scooped her up and gave her a hug.  We looked on my dresser where the Willow Tree angel sat, a mother (now headless) cradling a baby.  “We can glue it back together,” I assured my daughter and she grinned and skipped away.

Brokenness seems to be following me around these days: A broken mother on my dresser…A bowl I dropped on the kitchen floor while making dinner, then swept up in pieces and tossed into the trash…The ceramic chimes my daughter had painted after Christmas that fell off her dresser and cracked in three places.

We moms know about broken things.

Some of them I could glue together, not quite as good as new, but enough to hide the cracks and broken places from most casual onlookers.  But the bowl I had to toss away, too shattered to be useful anymore.

It’s one of the beautiful ministries of God to us, the way He chooses to bind up wounds and heal broken hearts. 

But I couldn’t have squirted out the super glue and held the head back into place if my daughter had hidden it away instead of bringing it to my feet.

And as long as we carry our pieces to God, not hide away in shame or frustration, or try to fix things on our own, or collapse in helpless self-pity…only then can He bring wholeness and healing to the broken.  And aren’t we all at least a little broken?

Always He forgives.
Always He mends. 
Always He shows compassion.

And always He redeems and uses us, not in spite of our brokenness, but because of the way we’ve yielded it to Him.

It’s a theme strung through verse after verse when I read through The Message last year, this promise of wholeness.

David prayed it after being delivered from Saul:

“God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before him.

   I feel put back together 
2 Samuel 22:21-25, Psalm 18

I can’t say I always feel put back together.  Sometimes closer inspection reveals those super-glued cracks.  Sometimes a few trivial annoyances chip away at my soul, chip…chip….chip until I’m all in pieces of ugliness and impatience.  At other times, it’s a crushing blow and I’m so delicate against the force of it.

Broken again, Lord.  So sorry that I’m broken again.

But at Christmas I read anew who our Messiah, our Savior is:

His names will be: Amazing Counselor,
Strong God,
Eternal Father,
Prince of Wholeness.
His ruling authority will grow,
    and there’ll be no limits to the wholeness he brings
(Isaiah 9:6-7).

I know those verses.  “Prince of Peace.” That’s what it should say.  (I talk aloud to my Bible, explaining it to the pages).

But Shalom, peace, that’s what it’s talking about here.  The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament says: “The general meaning behind the root š-l-m is of completion and fulfillment—of entering into a state of wholeness and unity, a restored relationship.”

Ah and there it is.  Jesus is our Peace, putting us back together, making us whole, restoring our relationship with God, fulfilling and completing us.

He is our Prince of Wholeness.

What a promise for the broken.

And there’s this lovely, overwhelmingly miraculous part of this wholeness, that it isn’t just for our own comfort or personal happiness.  It’s not so life will be a bit easier and our shoulders a little less burdened by guilt or our self-esteem boosted so we can peek into the mirror with confidence.

In her study on Nehemiah, Kelly Minter wrote:

Essentially wholeness is not the end, but the very beginning, because wholeness allows us to give much more of our hearts, possessions, time, wisdom, money, friendship and love away  (p. 7).

We seek this wholeness–in our finances, in our hearts, in our relationships, in our homes, in our ministries, in our marriages, in our minds….not as the ultimate end.

Lord, heal us so we may be more of a blessing to others.

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  Her upcoming book, Ask Me Anything, Lord: Opening Our Hearts to God’s Questions, will be released in November 2013!  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2013 Heather King