Where do you turn when your family is broken? It’s not just in the news, but we can see brokenness at work in the lives of those around us: people who suffer from addictions, people who lash out at others in anger and cruelty, people who are stuck in financial messes, people who make the same big mistakes over and over again and slowly self-destruct their own lives while hurting the lives of those around them.
It would be so easy to sit in our houses and say “thank God, I’m not one of them”. But…we are. It’s just that our brokenness isn’t seen by the rest of the world. You see, we are all broken in some way. Some of us have bad habits that trip us up over and over again. Some of us struggle with sins we know we shouldn’t do, but we end up doing it anyway. Some of us are overwhelmed by unforgiveness, a lashing tongue, or a temper that gets out of control. Still others, it’s their thought life. Some people have more brokenness than others and some have less but, when we get down to the bottom of it, we’re all broken. That’s what Jesus came for when He was born – not to bless the unbroken but to reach out to the broken, the hurting, the destitute, the hopeless and bring light into their darkness.
One young single mom in our area has come from a family that is rife with brokenness. As I listened to her story, it struck me just how alone she must feel in this world. There is not a family around her to whom she can turn. And she is facing obstacles and challenges that would flatten any whole family, much less a young woman on her own.
These families that we are helping at Christmas – we’re not helping them because we are whole and good and, in our largess, we are reaching down to meet their feeble needs. We are helping them because we too know what it is like to be broken, to be desperate, to be hurting, to not know how to get ourselves out of where we find ourselves. We are essentially one beggar telling another beggar where we found bread. In truth, we found the Bread of Life. And as He is changing us, we’re learning to see others through His eyes. We are becoming His hands to reach out, His arms to give a hug, His heart to meet whatever needs we are able to meet.
And so, we as a broken people, are reaching out to care for 5 broken families with 15 children to provide Christmas for them. We will be His hands, His feet, and His heart to each one of them. Jesus was once eating with a group of tax collectors and sinners. When the “unbroken” pharisees protested, Jesus challenged them “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) As we reflect this season on that baby who was born, let’s share the hope of that moment with the broken who are around us.