Thursday, March 10, 2011
On Being Broken
by Grace Bridges
New Zealand has surely been on everyone's minds lately, as we are battered with image after tragic image of our once-beautiful Garden City, Christchurch, now shattered. Videos like the above are played in churches across the land, and there is an inescapable sense of national loss. Although I live almost a thousand kilometres away, and have not lost anyone I know, still a part of me is hurting badly for my people down south.
It also shows me how broken I still am in my personal life. It's good to cry, to let it out, to say how badly I miss my dad and regret the years I wasted. Catharsis, for Christchurch and for me.
We are all broken in some way, even me with my relatively sheltered life. And yet, I am making the discovery more and more that it does not stop me from being content, from having peace. I embrace all of my brokenness - I do not want to hide from it. I want to feel it in its entirety, and use those feelings in a positive way - like in my writing, in my day to day living, and in practical help like adopting a Christchurch family. Many people have lost their homes, or are living in them despite the holes, and we can help them.
It makes me grateful every day that my own house is still standing. Six people live in it, soon to be seven, and I want them to have great lives under my roof. I want to understand their needs and how we can best live together for the good of all. I want to keep a soft heart towards all, and strange as it may sound, being broken myself is proving a really good way to have sympathy for others.
The earthquake has brought New Zealand much public pain, but also public comfort. It has become normal in these days to cry on the street, and to be comforted by strangers. It shouldn't take a disaster for that to be acceptable. But now that this has happened, I hope we will remain as open to each other as we have been lately - because it's not just earthquakes that break us.