A Broken Vessel

broken vessel sea.jpg

I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.Isaiah 42:16 NIV

Broken again. Hands emptied. Silly me. I thought I was entering the days of fullness and abundance. Each morning I met the sun as it rose with anticipation and an open heart. Five days to embrace sea and sand. Five days to write and plan. And here I am with pages and pages of notes and thoughts and knee-deep in sorrow, loss; depression creeping in, splashing around my knees like the cold water of the afternoon storm. Broken again.

This last morning I stare out into the sea and ask God, ask myself, “What did I expect? A cup filled to the top; a confidence unshakable,” I whisper into the quiet.

That patient voice of God, hidden under the crash of the waves reminds me, “What words did I give you the first morning as you walked the beach? A broken vesselBroken for my sake.” Those words delighted me then. I realized they were the perfect words to describe Joseph. And Jesus. And yes, even Judah. 

Israel, the prophet, had foretold it. Broken. Poured out. Jesus had shared it with those closest to him. “This is my body. Broken. Take. Eat. This is my blood – poured out. It is for you. Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood you can have no part of me.” (Matthew 26:26 and John 6:53-59)

It sounds morbid and desperate, doesn’t it? We accept it because we have never seen crucifixion. We hold it up as holy because 2,000 years of tradition teaches us to do so. But broken and poured out is not natural to us. It is not really what we want to hold in our hands and our hearts as ours.

When we really think about it, this God and what He offers is not really what we want. We want easy. We want solid, unbroken. We want the smooth path with no stones and no sharp turns - a clear view ahead. Can’t we have that, please?

My grandson is just learning to talk. He has only a few words at his disposal as opposed to his cousin Mikah. She is a few months older and seems to learn a new word every few minutes. Barrett knows ‘dog’ and ‘hurray!’ and the sweetest, simplest ‘yes’. He recognizes the cadence of a question and so he always answers a simple, matter-of-fact ‘yes’.

If only I could learn that. “Yes.” God brought me out here to the edge of the land where endless sea and sky begins to teach me that word again; “Yes.” I don’t need to understand the question. I only need to know that He – my Lord – is asking.

“Will you be broken?” “Yes.” “Will you be poured out?” “Yes.” “Will you trust me when you can’t see beyond the horizon to journey’s end?”

Broken Vessels by Hillsong Worship