Company would be arriving soon.
I evaluated the dishes through the dirty glass. Evaluating my options, I saw the good, and I saw the broken. Through my distorted lens.
I opened the door and reached inside the cabinet.
My fingertip circled the the porcelain edges, settling and lodging into the chipped surface, and I thought not to use that piece. Another dish had been pieced and glued back together. No good.
Cracks and lines showing. Stained.
They weren’t good enough to use. They weren’t presentable. I’d been told that all my life. Someone could get injured. Someone would be embarrassed.
Use the good. Use the best. Act as though you’re serving the King.
My heart sank low. What if God never used the broken? What if we embarrassed him? What if He kept the damaged hidden away? Because of the way that it looked or the way that it felt.
What if He had the mind of man? My heart sank lower.
I’ve felt it all my life—I’m fake. I’m not whole, not good enough, not proper enough. I’m not deserving. I’m an embarrassment.
To those who aren’t broken.
Don’t pick me. Don’t use me. Don’t raise your hand. Don’t share your faith. Don’t put her on display. She’s broken. You’re broken.
Shelli, you’re broken.
Your family can’t be this or can’t be that because … you’re broken.
She might hurt others. Being rough around the edges could hurt someone, inflict slight injury. They might think it’s okay to be broken.
But He has the mind of God. Glory. My heart began to rise. And He whispered to my heart—I’m the glue that binds you. I’ll break you, but I’ll bind you. I’m the glue sealing you together. I’ve settled and lodged into you. Because I’m your all. Does that not make you special? Valuable? User-worthy and user-friendly?
Fractures and chips chisel character into your life, like a vintage home’s crown molding.
And If the cracks cause others to bleed, maybe they need my broken and binding, too. You leave that to me. God whispered—maybe I know what I’m doing.
O Soul Within, who are you to judge who can and can’t be used? Don’t judge yourself, Shelli. Don’t bully yourself.
God sees all. The glass is never too dirty for Him to see. He’s sees the broken and unbroken.
And He reaches for you.
He sees the lines, He feels the cracks, and He still takes you by the hand.
Because what is real? Real is what you have to give. What I feel … what I see … me.
When the brokenness causes a resemblance to Him—broken like Jesus—place out the fractured, chipped, and the glued. Set the table.
His is the company we seek to please. We’re serving the King.
Gratefulness in my heart had awoken.
We serve a God who uses the broken.
15 thoughts on “God Uses The Broken Teacups”
Thank you for this encouraging post, dear Shelli. I needed this as I knock on a door that appears to be opening. I'm banking on God shining beauty through the broken. My brokenness. xo
Blessings & hugs ~ Wendy
I don't remember who said it, but I read one time that we have to have the cracks to let the light come in. I love your thoughts on God being the glue and how he becomes part of us. Thank you for this beautiful post.
Yes, Wendy. Beauty through the broken. And your brokenness is so beautiful. An open door … that's exciting!! xoxo
I love that, Penny … the cracks allows the light to come in. The light can't come in until we're broken. I'm so thankful you stopped by. Thank you, thank you.
Many years back, I had a friend who was a bit rough around the edges. As I got to know her better, I learned about the troubled home of her childhood and her brave efforts to protect her younger siblings. Those chips in her personality weren't flaws, they were battle scars. Beautiful scars.
Shirlee, you always give me goose bumps and cause tears to prick my eyes. Thank you. You always bless me. Battle scars … beautiful scars. Yes. xoxo
Lovely post, Shelli! You set the bar high for yourself…and you always clear it with ease. If I grow up I hope I can write like you.
I am, however, unbroken and unbreakable. Let the fires of hell come; they will not singe me, and the hammers of the demons will break on me.
There are those who counted me out of the fight; their grief at their miscalculation was as heartfelt as it was brief.
And when I get to Heaven, God and his angels will step aside in silence, eyes averted, as a Samurai steps out onto the streets of gold.
When you grow up! 🙂 You always make me laugh, and then you make me cry. And you know … probably not everyone needs breaking. 🙂 I think I needed it. You made me think of that song … “When We All Get To Heaven” … remember that? What a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory!! Oh, my word … I grew up with that song. I can see my Pa-Paw leading the music in his tiny church … he had the sweetest tenor voice. Goodness, I miss him and my grandmother, too. xoxo
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!! I soooo identify! I've come to understand (very slowly over my whole life) that broken is so beautiful. Being broken humbles us and brings us to our knees.
Your pictures are stunning, my friend.
So much love~~~~~~
Andrew … I wrote this to you, but realized just now that I didn't put the comment under your name. 🙂 … When you grow up! 🙂 You always make me laugh, and then you make me cry. And you know … probably not everyone needs breaking. 🙂 I think I needed it. You made me think of that song … “When We All Get To Heaven” … remember that? What a day of rejoicing that will be. When we all see Jesus, we'll sing and shout the victory!! Oh, my word … I grew up with that song. I can see my Pa-Paw leading the music in his tiny church … he had the sweetest tenor voice. Goodness, I miss him and my grandmother, too. xoxo
Yes, Julie. I so agree. Broken is beautiful. Because without it, I'd never have come to rely on God the way I do … I wouldn't have sought Him out the way I did … the way I do. My real “break” happened when I was about 27 … and I've never been the same. No one had to offer a Bible study to me, or beg me … I grabbed it and ran. 🙂 xoxoxo I love you, Julie.
Another good post, Shelli. God's used my brokenness to be more empathetic to others. This happened a long time ago when I'd fallen into a pattern of sin and went to the lowest parts of despair until I snapped out of it. You know, the sin-confess, sin-confess cycle. It was bad. But I recovered and felt God's grace abound and turned from my sin. Months later, a friend of mine, a believer too, confided in me about a similar circumstance. I was able to relate to her and not turn into a Pharisee–I would have in the past, but this time, God had not only used my brokenness to pull me to him, but to teach me empathy.
Yes, I know exactly what you mean. And thank you for being so honest, Melodie. I, too, have had the opportunity to help steer someone away from traveling the same road as I did so many years ago. Actually, God's allowed me to help a few. And why they came to me, asking, I don't know? But I'm so thankful, and I wanted to clap my hands. That made the pain from it all worthwhile. Helping others from our same mistakes.
Shelli, such a beautiful post. We're all broken in some way, aren't we? We've all been hurt and used and chipped and cracked at some point. And God is still healing some of my brokenness. I'm so thankful that He extends His grace. That He's not embarrassed by us, and that He loves us more than we can comprehend.
Thanks so much for that reminder!
Me too, Jeanne. When I was young, I didn't think about embarrassing God … but now, I know I want to live my life in a way that never would embarrass Him or hurt His name. I'm glad He's big and strong enough to take it all. 🙂