Faith Matters

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 “On Brokenness”

How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting to praise him!  The Lord builds up Jerusalem; he gathers the exiles of Israel. He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.  Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit.” -Psalm 147:1-5

Broken pipes.  Broken hearts.  Broken homes.  Broken promises.  Broken world.  There’s a lot of ‘broke’ going on these days.  So much for the old phrase… “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.”  Sometimes it’s hard to tell.  Maybe we will never understand.  The Psalmist claims, God does… and because God does… it is good for any of us to offer up some praise and thanksgiving to the one whose understanding has no limit.

The Huffington Post shared an article in 2018 titled… “The World’s Broken—Here’s How We Fix It.”  That was over two years ago.  Obviously, what they wrote didn’t work.  Afterall, the world has been broken for a long time and every culture and every faith has a story of how that brokenness came to be.  They all share a ‘flood’ story about how broken the world became and how it all got washed away… with names like… Noah, Gilgamesh, Nama, and Lip Long, the sage… just to name a few… so you don’t have to be from Texas or Tanzania to understand we are surrounded by imperfection and often times the best image of that imperfection is looking right back at us in the mirror.  Can we own that?

There’s an old story that goes something like this…

There was a young and enthusiastic son who wanted to play catch with his dad.  Like many dads… he seemed too busy at the time… locked in the reading of the local news… or whatever…

This dad grabbed his son, gave him a HUGE hug, and then quickly came up with an idea. Earlier in his reading, he saw a full-page ad with a picture of the world as seen from space. He quickly found it, tore it up into little pieces, and spread them out on the table.  He found some tape for his son and said, “I want to see how fast you can put this puzzle together!”  The dad figured it would take quite a bit of time and as the boy enthusiastically dove right in his father went back to reading the newspaper… or whatever…

In a surprisingly short period of time, within just a few minutes, the boy had taped the picture back together. The father was astonished. He couldn’t believe it, so he asked his son, “How on earth did you do that so fast?”

The young boy turned the page over and replied, “It was easy, Dad! I saw that there was a picture of a man on the other side. And when I got the man together, the world just fell into place.”

I like that story.  It tosses the source of our brokenness back on us rather than blaming the world… or God…  Do you want the world to be less broken?  Work on you.  God desires that.  The Psalmist said God can fix the brokenness and bind up our wounds.  God does and God will.  Healing comes.  Faith matters.  We all believe in something.  The question, however, remains… ‘is what I believe in good for just me or for me and the world?’  And that’s up to you… but if God can count the stars and give each one a name… then why wouldn’t God take time for you?  Your comments are always welcome!

The Rev.   Dr.   Brian   K.   Gigee   is   a   long-time resident of Pearland, having pastored four churches over the last four decades in Texas and Louisiana.     You can read more following his blogmurmuringsat   Comments   and / or questions can be sent to [email protected].

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