Friday, March 23, 2012

Transformed by Truth: A guest post

We've all seen the ugly gashes of pain across life and the raw bleed of sin. There have been seasons I've plastered over my own brokenness, and the wounds of others, with the stiff veneer of pride. Afraid of the brokenness spilling out and giving away my humanness. 

Life can be a broken tangled heap. Hearts lie in disrepair, hidden and hurting. Encountering people who are broken and messy challenges me. Little ones who have been soiled, wasted by loved ones and by the world, are hard for me to understand. I don't like brushing up against poverty. I resent ignorance. I like things neat and useful. I like people I can understand; nice, clean, tidy people. I like to pretend I am one.

Jesus' eyes search out broken ones, pierce the mess, reveal, and hold answers. He's not put off by messy. He delights in challenge, a chance to show his power, a time for glory. For years I straightened, tucked, and cleaned the rooms of my heart. But a puff of wind and the card house fell. As a young woman I searched for truth, licking my wounds.

I wore the label “daughter of brokenness.” My parents are real people and life caught up with them. Their story isn't mine to tell, but for years it wasn't pretty. Over time the thin scar of church wounds covered my heart, accumulated in service with my husband to God's precious bride. I wore the label, “not-enough.” Marriage had it's rough moments and at times felt more like a prison than a blessing. Empty from pouring my life out for the church and for my husband I found myself trying on the label “betrayer.”

But God's grace called out to me. My eyes raised, meeting his. The questions were forgotten. Answers were found in his face. The answer? The Cross. All around me, past, present, and future I see hopeless people, scary people, secrets locked in wounded hearts. I see broken mess, cast aside and useless. What does Jesus see? Beauty.

God's word holds the promise of a mess made straight. Promise of wounds healed, of chains loosed. Freedom. Do I hope in, find comfort in, and extend his promise of life? I want to see beauty behind angry eyes. I want to see fear turn to love right before me. Reaching out to take a marred, quivering world by the hand scares me. I pray for love to turn my fears into bold belief. Our Heart Tamer challenges, "I am the way, the truth, the life no one is made right with the Father by anyone else; come be set free by truth." (John 14:6, John 8:32)

Do you believe God's promise for your brokenness, for the brokenness you find in others? Do you believe the promise that there's beauty on the other side? Only Jesus' love turns broken days, and broken people into works of beauty. It's what he has planned for his children. He invites us first to apply the truth of his transforming grace to our own lives. Beauty only grows in the soil of truth.

Until I knew the power of God's love to transform my wounds into beauty I had no hope to hold out to others. “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails,” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8. True love transforms. His love invites us to offer our brokenness up for transformation. And then, most beautiful gift, he invites us to join him in his work of applying truth to the pain of the world. He calls us to be lovers, transforming the broken into beauty.

Where are you in need of beauty? Brokenness is made beautiful by clinging to the truth of God's word. What God promises are you holding on to today?
Beck Gambill blogs at Beck Far From Home. You can read her thoughts on pursuing God there as well as download a free copy of her ebook Sister to Sister; a Mentor's Handbook. She has served with her husband, Chris, in ministry for ten years. Together they are raising God's precious gifts Max and Maggie.


  1. It is so amazing that grace can be a few steps away, a matter of changing our perspective just ever so slightly so that we see the beauty He sees.

    Your powerful reminder in Corinthians is that nudge we need regularly to give to others as good as we get from Him.

    Thanks for a lovely post. I came on over from Beck's site.

    1. Thank you for visiting Kim. As always I appreciate the perspective and encouragement your comments bring!

  2. Visiting from Beck's site. Thanks for hosting Beck today, and thanks to Beck for such a powerful witness. As always, your writing is crisp, true and filled with grace. The little reminder from Corinthians was an arrow needed by all of us. Thanks to you both.

  3. I'm so glad you came by Sherrey, and were encouraged!


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