Broken, Held, Healed

      Lao Tsu's comment about being deeply loved

“Broken (Surrendered), Held (Loved), Healed (Completed).” I can just hear the responses to this title: ‘What do you mean “Broken”??? Do you think I’m broken, or need to be “Held” or “Healed”??? YES!!!!!! We all do!

       This title carries multiple meanings as we survive and thrive in the trenches of daily living. It implies both a physical and a spiritual application. The former is our body, mind, and emotions in response to major crises: an accident, disease, unjust offence, and you can add your own personal trauma.  All of us have or will go through such brokenness— it’s the way of all flesh. We take the worst along with the best of what life has to offer, and develop healthy ways of recovery.  The heart of this healing is spiritual transformation.


light shining out of cracked meditating woman sculpture



       The spiritual application is where “broken” becomes “surrendered,” “held” becomes “loved,” and “healed” becomes “completed.”  Whatever we call it—strong will, wanting to do our own thing, not wanting to depend on anyone else, captain of our own ship—we are like wild horses—it’s human nature.  Sailing our fragile ship in rough waters often gets us ship wrecked! The LIGHT-house is there warning us, but we avoid it, thinking we know better. Then surfaces that over used phrase Dr. Phil often says to the consternation of his dysfunctional guests: “How’s that working for you???” Perhaps true spiritual growth arises when we no longer have to wear bit and bridle in order to know which way to go.

       Surrender is often the last resort, usually when we are on our backs, looking up. It came to me with blood flowing down my face, knocked out and lying unconscious in a ditch. I was awakened by flashing ambulance lights, while my beautiful motorcycle was strewn about hell’s half acres! “Surrender,” is one of the “S-words” in the outward spiritual disciplines, joining “submission,” “solitude,” and “simplicity.” It’s the first step in true, deep, lasting healing. It’s being HELD. It’s willing to be held; it knows that the one set of footprints are definitely not ours.

     light shining through cracks in door



        We all long to be held, cradled in the protective arms of the One who has all power and all love. This longing may be the core need of our being, implanted when we are born, ignited when we are born again, and eternalized when we are finally Home. We can look for love in all the wrong places, hoping to find such an embrace. How ironic that the loving Father waits for his wander-lusting-children to return home, naked and destitute, realizing that loving embrace has always been there, waiting.


difficulties not to destroy but bring out potential



       As with physical healing, we can also heal spiritually. That God-shaped- vacuum inside our being can be filled, and we can be complete—reaping a harvest of peace and serenity. Does that sound easy or too simple??? As in recovery, it’s a simple program but it is not easy—it demands our death, the daily killing of our self-destructive, prideful natures.  As the Notre Dame priest declared in the movie Rudy, “I know two things: There is a God; and I am not Him!”  Dietrich Bonhoeffer echoes the same as he writes in his classic The Cost of Discipleship, “When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die.”  This is not suicide by our own hand; it is a gracious intervention, placing us on full Life-support.

       This is God’s grace—our Higher Power’s surgery meets us as we lay dying in the intensive care units of our own making. We can be healed. We can feel complete, like we belong, like we are finally home—at least a preview of coming attractions.  


mosaic broken heart