“Come set Your rule and reign in our hearts again.
Increase in us we pray; unveil why we’re made.
Come set our hearts ablaze with hope, like wildfire in our very souls.
Holy Spirit, come invade us now!
We are Your Church and we need Your power in us.”
As I looked around the room full of people worshipping, tears came to my eyes. Some were clapping, others dancing; some had their hands raised while others stood still, but all of them were singing these words with passion, many of them belting them out at the tops of their voices.
At first I was uncertain what was touching me so deeply, but then I realised that the scene before me was a beautiful example of Kintsugi.
Looking among the crowd, I thought of what I knew of people’s individual stories:
- The single mother, struggling to raise her two boys alone after being abandoned by her husband.
- The lady dealing with difficult family situations at opposite ends of the country, mostly alone, exhausted from trying to hold it all together.
- The teenager struggling with anxiety as a result of the academic pressure heaped upon her from all angles.
- The young man battling illness, hindered from doing many of the activities his peers take for granted.
- The older man recovering from a cancer scare earlier this year, relieved to be free of cancer but still waiting for a solution to be found and his symptoms to be relieved.
- The woman whose life-long struggle with self-worth had led her to make some regrettable decisions.
Those were just some of the stories I knew, and I’m sure there were many other examples of pain, heartache and suffering represented in the room.
So much brokenness, and yet so much beauty!
Every single person was singing passionately, believing that, even with all their brokenness, God could use them to make a difference!
“We are Your church. We are the hope on earth.”
Seriously? We are the only hope? This ragamuffin bunch of scarred and broken people? Why would God choose us? What could we ever hope to achieve?
“We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.” (2 Corinthians 4:7 NLT)
We may be scarred and broken. We may be a tiny minority (it is estimated that only 2% of people in Scotland are Bible-believing Christians.*) We may be fighting the swelling tide of secularism and the erosion of Christian values. We may be fragile jars of clay…
…But inside, we have great treasure.
We have God’s Holy Spirit- the power that raised Christ from the dead, living in us!
We have personal testimonies to share of God’s healing power, of how he has met us in our brokenness and bound up our wounds with his truth and love!
We have hope, even in the midst of the brokenness, and we have something amazing to offer to a broken world!
And as I looked at that group of people, it stirred hope in me, because even though the brokenness was evident, the beauty was greater.
I saw love and grace and passion and determination. I saw faith and kindness and perseverance and humility. I saw God’s light shining through the cracks, transforming the broken into beauty, making it clear that this great power was not from ourselves, but from him.
And my confidence grew that, even in our brokenness, we could be the hope, that God could use us to make a difference, that just as the Gospel was spread through an unlikely group of disciples in the first century, it could be spread through us, here in the twenty-first century.
We are the broken beautiful and we are the hope!
“Build Your kingdom here; let the darkness fear.
Show Your mighty hand. Heal our streets and land
Set Your church on fire; win this nation back
Change the atmosphere!
Build Your kingdom here, we pray!”
*I can’t find a source for this figure but I have heard it quoted by several different people in various Christian settings.