Yesterday as we began to explore some of the “golden lines” of Kintsugi- some of the examples of the beauty God can work in our brokenness- we looked at the first of the Beatitudes, and the blessings there are in recognising our need for God and humbling ourselves before him.
The next golden line I want to explore links with the second of the Beatitudes:
“God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” (Matthew 5:5 NLT)
Again this is very different from the world’s view, and probably, if we’re honest, quite different from our view a lot of the time. Mourning is painful and it’s easy to wonder how any blessing could possibly come from it. As we discussed yesterday though, it is often in the times when we recognise our brokenness that we see our need of God and, as we do, he draws near and we experience his comfort.
“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.” (Psalm 34:18 NLT)
Yet the beauty goes even deeper, because Paul writes in 2 Corinthians:
“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
Brokenness can develop empathy and compassion in us, and enable us to stand with others in their brokenness.
As Oscar Romero put it: ” “There are many things that can only be seen through eyes that have cried.”
Brokenness gives us a different perspective on life: replacing judgement with understanding and self-sufficiency with humility, and as we draw close to God and know his comfort, that equips us to be able to comfort others.
We know what helped us in our brokenness, and we know what was less helpful, and this gives us insights about how to draw alongside others in their times of pain in a way that is sensitive and thoughtful, rather than in a way that worsens their pain.
I know that in one of my times of greatest brokenness, the least helpful thing was somebody who had very good intentions but who just didn’t understand. Her words were intended to help, but instead they left me feeling judged and that my pain was being disregarded. While it hurt at the time, I am grateful for the lessons that experience taught me about relating to others in their brokenness.
Often the most helpful thing is not that we have all the answers, but that we are present- that we are willing to come alongside others and sit with them in their pain.
Having known God’s comfort also equips us to bring comfort by speaking hope– not in a false “just pray and everything will be okay” kind of way, but a deep, authentic hope that comes from our own experience of knowing God’s comfort in the midst of our pain, and of witnessing firsthand his ability to heal and restore.