Beauty of Brokenness

“Piang!” The glass cup broke on the table.

“The glass is broken.” says David.

“No, it’s not! See, I can still drink from it” says Natalie, picking up one of the bigger shards and then trying to sip some of the remaining white wine from it.

“You are not well, Nat. Let me call Mom.”

“I’m perfectly fine Dave. Don’t you dare tell Mom about this. Everyone will think the glass is broken. What will they say? Yes even if the glass is broken, why would you want to even hint at this to anyone else? What is with this airing of dirty laundry? I trust you so much; but everything you know, you want to share with others.”

“I can’t support you alone my dear. Sharing with others is how I can be emotionally resilient. Others knowing don’t make you weaker; it makes you stronger.”

Natalie cups her hands over her ears. The glass pieces glittered with the spotlight of the dinning table; and the white wine that spilled on the floor slowly evaporated.

I had intended to almost go into a social commentary of our modern girls and ladies being so obsessed with perfection, with that idealised image of themselves – that the brokenness inside is being kept hidden at practically any cost. And the problem it brings, at a social scale. It was supposed to be inspired by a TED talk by Reshma Saujani. But frankly, this is also a spiritual problem and maybe it is necessary to look at it more deeply from the perspective of my faith.

And the passage I’d point to is the John 4 passage on the Samaritan woman who responded to Jesus. She had some underlying desires unfulfilled which explains the serial relationships she had (to eventually have 5 husbands). She was a broken woman – yet she probably lived as if everything was alright and she was just going about her day.  The degree of amazement she experienced to even proclaim Jesus as prophet reflects the secrecy by which she has guarded this shameful secret. And in recognising Jesus as the Messiah, something within her must have convinced her that the Lord knows throughly of her brokenness and yet still loved her.

It is only through recognizing that there is beauty in this brokenness that is in all of us – that we relieve ourselves of the burden of having to live idealised, perfect images of ourselves. And seeing God’s love for us while being fully conscious of our sinful selves, our selfish desires and our pride have to impact on us in a way that allows us to open ourselves up. Can the view of ourselves by the society and others be ever above the view that our God have of us?

To go on the streets declare in John 4:29: “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?”, was the woman’s response. It was bold and she broke through her brokenness. She acknowledged it but something in her cannot help but proclaim the good news of Christ’s coming. It would no doubt elicit questions about what is this ‘all that she ever did’. But I doubt she would be hiding anymore. The fountain of living water she has been promised, no one could take from her.

Why still drink from the broken glass cup? When one can drink from the fountain of living water?