I recently spent ten days in some of the most hallowed ground that I have ever walked on. A land of sweeping beauty and deepest despair. A land of beautiful smiles, the kind of smiles that burst onto the scene like rays of sunshine peeking past the clouds. A land that has been devastated too. Much of it’s soul stolen by the clutching hands of poverty.
I could focus on the piles of rubbish and the stink of rotting trash mixed with the smell of smoke. That smell followed me everywhere. A mixture of a sweet scent that I could never quite put my finger on and the dirty scent of burning refuse.
But instead I want to focus on those smiles. The smiles of children that were so happy to see us. Welcoming hugs and playfulness greeted us at every turn. Warm laughter. This is how I want to remember the people that I came to know and love.
I have been home now for nearly two weeks. Fourteen days to process everything I experienced. I keep going back to people’s posts and to people’s writing. I keep looking at photos that remind me of the torn places in my heart. I think I want those torn places to just be healed, to have my heart go back to the way it was before I stood in those sacred places.
But I don’t really want my heart to go back to the old place. Yes, it’s been torn and it’s been wrecked. And it hurts to remember at times. But this is the heart that God wants me to have. One that is tender and full of purpose. A heart that is stretched. Stretched to the point of breaking.
A heart like that is one that can be used. I need my heart to be used. I need to feel broken.
I heard it said very recently, from a very young but very old soul; “it’s the broken vessels that allow light to shine through. If there were no cracks the light would remain hidden”. I love that sentiment.
And so I pray now to stay broken. I pray to be used. I pray that I would be used up until nothing remains of me. I pray that the only thing shining through this cracked and broken vessel is His light.