“The miracle happens in the breaking.”
~ Ann Voskamp in The Broken Way: a daring path into the abundant life
It’s just the two of us for dinner. I scrounge up some chicken, left over from the chicken-with-cherry-sauce recipe from A Taste of Laity Lodge. Only for her, I serve it plain with bottled Hawaiian sauce and no cherries and a broken breadstick with pizza sauce. She skips the asparagus. Then she trades the chicken for leftover spaghetti.
Grace stands at the counter to watch Tinkerbell and the Lost Treasure on the postage-size TV while she eats.
“Do you want me to shut it off?” she asks when she’s done.
“Yes. No.” I’d planned to listen to Job on my Bible CD while I cleaned up the kitchen, but I’m sucked in.
Tinkerbell is chosen to create a unique scepter to raise up a rare magical stone. When the light of the blue harvest moon at its peak passes through the gem, it’ll create blue dust that will restore the pixie dust tree. But there’s an accident, and the stone breaks, and Tinkerbell sets off on a quest to save Pixie Hollow. In the process she learns about accepting responsibility for her own actions and the importance of love and compassion and forgiveness.
I think about this movie in the morning as I pace around the living room, alternately yelling at and pleading with God in one of those dream-melting moments.
You’ve had some of those, right?
When the precious bundle they placed in your arms turns prodigal…
When infidelity shreds the vows you made until death do you part…
When disease nibbles away at your mother’s mind…
When the drunk driver runs the stop sign and steals a loved one…
When someone else gets a contract while 30 publishers reject your book…
When you’re pink slipped from the place you thought you’d rise in the ranks…
When your home and all it symbolized blows away…
When your bank account shrivels down to nothing…
When the tests show cancer…
When the tendrils of disappointment and fear squeeze and suffocate.
And you pace and scream and weep and oil the molding and throw a pillow (or worse) and collapse in a puddle of tears.
And you can’t hear Him, and you’re not sure He hears you, or sees you, and why won’t He do something.
Why is He so silent and unmoving?
And you just can’t take any more.
So you sit in the rubble and scrape your wounds with the fragments.
But then you rise, dust yourself off.
And you reach for the tip of His tassel, cling to the red cord.
Because what else can you do?
And you remember that your redeemer lives, and you’ll hope in Him even though He slays you.
And you remember that all your treasure is wrapped up in Him, and you are His treasure.
And you believe it. And faith banishes fear.
And your heart, though squished like an underfoot strawberry, still drips love, and you pour and pour, and you’re a drink offering on the altar of your shattered dreams.
And the hollow ache yawns wide, and it’s a vessel to hold the perfume of His presence–even when you don’t sense it.
You don’t smell it, but others do.
Because it’s the crushed who seep the sweetest fragrance.
It’s the broken and the bent who bend the light the brightest.
At the end of the movie, when Tinkerbell unveils her art, the other fairies gasp at the sight of the moonstone shards. But the way Tinkerbell has situated the pieces, dangled them from the scepter, they are super magnified, and the surface area is so increased that when the beams of the blue moon pass through, they’re reflected in majestic rays and flashes of light that create the largest supply of pixie dust ever.
It never would have happened without the breaking.
“So we stood in the woods and bled a bit.” And it didn’t matter that I knew how to get to the road because the only way I wanted now was a broken one.
“So you got crucified?” Mei asks me point-blank.
“Basically, yeah.” I swallow down the last of the tea gone cold but I’m warmed right through.
Mei says it slow:” Sometimes–some things have to break all apart so better things can be built.”
From The Broken Way, page 216
Taking a break from my 31-Day series (which is a bit of breaking in itself), to pull this post from the archives to celebrate the release of Ann’s new book.