You can tell before you even unwrap it. That it's broken that is.
All that's left is the extra sharp pain in the realizing of what else is broken.
Mugs from favorite adventures and cities discovered and shared with friends.
Mexican pottery with so much laughter and Spanglish conversation all soaked up and stored in it's colorful clay.
How could all of it arrive broken? How could my life be in this many pieces?
I padded and packed and padded some more trying desperately to keep whole the things that I thought mattered most.
And still they meet me here broken.
In the center of the padded box surrounded by broken pieces and fragments of my past and all the things I held dear, this little wooden statue from the heart of Jerusalem.
Jesus with his cross.
I remember so vividly the Jerusalem heat. That little hole in the wall shop filled floor to ceiling with olive wood. The way it refreshed me and touched me so much more than I imagined it would. Even though it was overrun with tourists. I remember looking carefully at each face--running my fingers over so many--trying to imagine how I wanted to remember and represent Jesus in my new home.
And this one.
Always I want to remember the cross.
That he carried it for me even though he didn't have to and even though he shouldn't have. That he did so with a heart full of joy and compassion.
That he was broken there for me and all for of my brokenness.
Finding him there of all places, in the midst of all of my broken pieces (quite literally), was such a lovely little personal parable. And so often that's how Jesus comes to me. In my space and my situation. Wherever and whatever they may be. And he shows me what I need to see of him right then, even if I don't know it yet.
This time he showed up in a tiny, empty, studio apartment in the heart of Seattle, WA as I sat with shattered pieces in my hands and tears in my eyes.
Here he reminded me that as long as he remains at the center, everything else that I believed mattered most will simply fade away.
That I can let go of everything but him.
That he is whole even when my life is in pieces--even when I am in pieces.
Here he showed me that my brokenness is beautiful in the light of his cross.