“If God can accomplish His purposes in this world through a broken heart,
then why not thank Him for breaking yours?”
So yesterday I wrote a bit of a confession.
I confessed that whereas I had proclaimed, just a few days prior, that there would
be absolutely no tree this year—suddenly on Sunday, there was a tree.
And thus Tricia, over on Freedom Through Empowerment, in her vast wisdom,
made a most profound observation…one that I just had to share.
The backstory as to why I had I opted on no tree was that
no one was coming home this year.
It would just be me and my husband and that would be a tremendous amount of work for
just the two of us.
Another reason as to why I was not going to put up a Christmas tree was
the fact that one of the tubs that housed my porcelain angels
and age-old nutcrackers fell off of a shelf back in June when I was moving
the older Christmas ornaments out of the deathly hot Georgia attic
to a spare closet.
In the midst of moving, I heard the crash and the ensuing breaking of both
angel and nutcracker alike…
and in turn, the breaking of a piece of my own personal keeping of Christmas.
I immediately told myself that I’d deal with it all in October as it was just more
then I could bear.
At the time—October was far enough away and just seemed like a good time to
think about putting the pieces back together.
Yet October came and went…came and went without any sort of attempted repair.
It was a burden I just wanted to ignore.
I was getting too old for the meticulously gluing back together of the pieces
of so many Christmases past—it was simply more then I what I felt up to doing.
It seems that everything I own or hold precious, in this little corner of life,
has been pieced back together and glued at some point or other.
Knowing that so many of the treasures of my past were now in a thousand shards
and pieces was frankly overwhelming…does everything have to break?!
I knew the work that it was going to take to laboriously sort then attempt to
glue all those broken angels and nutcrackers back together.
Tiny little arms, noses, bases, wings, ornamentation…
Many I had long before I married….going all the way back to high school.
Not expensive really, but just threads of what it is that has helped to make me.
They are the tangible pieces of those who I have loved and who are no longer here.
Those now broken bits being the physical links…the memories of gifts given,
of tiny “treasures”, gathered together.
Each one having a face and a specific memory behind it.
And so I finally dug in on Sunday.
I sorted and started gluing.
Following which, I put up and trimmed the tree…piecemeal angels and all.
Yet my friend Tricia made a very keen observation:
“Beautiful tree Julie!
And really, the broken pieces glued together make it all the more glorious.
Kind of like our savior piecing our broken selves together to a more magnificent product.
Merry Christmas Julie!
And what a revelation!
Here I had what I thought to be a total disaster but in actuality, it was
a telling reminder.
It was a reminder, as well as a lesson, of my very own being.
More than me having come from the memories of trinkets given, past down over the years…
It was actually me being something and someone who was and is so much more.
It is the story of a Savior, who has come to put back together my very own brokenness.
Piecing me back together in order that I might be made whole once again.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
A Son, a Savior, who is given as a gift for all mankind?
The bridge that spans the chasm of divide, uniting once again both God Creator
and man created.
He had to come in order to put together that which was broken…broken
that day in a garden so very long ago.
As the breaking has continued down through the ages of time with no hope of repair…
not until the gift of a baby found laying in a manager on a lonely night
in the outreaches of a desert town…it was the Savior who born man that was
the hope of repair.
And so I thanked Tricia for reminding me that now, each year when I go to
decorate a tree, not only will I think of the stories behind each ornament…
of those I have loved and lost…of those whos and wheres of how each ornament
came to my tree…but from now on I will look at a handful of glued together bisque angels
and I will see their glue marks, their faults, and fractures and I will be reminded
of the absolute reason as to why I have a tree in the first place…
I will stop and remember that God sent His only son into the world to repair
the brokenness of someone like me.
And what profound joy is found in that revelation.
So thank you Tricia…thank you for reminding me of what this tree and these ornaments are
really all about…and a very Merry Christmas to you as well my friend!!
For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes,
lying in a manger.
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising
God, and saying,
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.