They’re called mother-in-law’s tongue, a green plant that flourishes in Florida. I’ve found it’s something I really can’t kill. My lack of gardening skills has been the death sentence for so many beautiful plants, herbs, and flowers that we’ve attempted to grow.
This has thrived.
Thriving is proven in the broken pot it was planted in. It has grown so full that the root system cracked the side of the terracotta pot. The longer I leave it, the wider the crack gets. Watering it becomes an issue; water gushes from the side, spreading dirt on the ground.
And yet it still thrives.
I haven’t transplanted it yet. This is one of those things I see every time I go outside and think to myself, “I need to re-pot that plant.” The moment I go back inside, I forget.
The broken pot is a reminder that something is no longer working. Brokenness in general is a reflection that the current reality is no longer good. Brokenness encompasses every area of life–things, people, ideas, attitudes, and relationships.
The depths of being broken for individuals reflect a strong emotional pain that prevents someone from living a healthy life.
Just like my pot, brokenness in people can reveal things that we often don’t want to be seen by others. Inner pain drives our actions in ways that aren’t our usual behavior, revealing needs that aren’t being met. Our motives become skewed and we respond by doing things to justify our actions because those behaviors aren’t who we really are.
I went through a period about a year ago where I felt like I bottomed out. COVID and the accompanying isolation played a lot into it; zoom meetings were giving me headaches and everyone was skittish about being present with others.
I’m an extrovert. Seclusion wasn’t working for me.
What was interesting was the longer I was alone, the more I withdrew from others. I became non-communicative and sullen. I rationalized my behavior with the pandemic, but it didn’t excuse my behavior toward others.
When several of my children pointed out my behavior, I felt shame.
That wasn’t who I was.
Life tends to wear us down. But being broken by circumstances doesn’t need to destroy us.
It can be an advantage if we allow our troubled selves to be moved toward God and His hope.
When King David was struggling against the Philistine king as well as Saul, king of Israel, his life was at risk, and he felt despair and hopelessness. But God.
“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; He rescues those whose spirits are crumbled.” Psalm 34:18
David understood that God was on his side, ready to strengthen him, strong enough to support him no matter how extreme his troubles.
When I was condemning myself for how I’d been acting, I was reminded that God didn’t condemn me.
“I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and He turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along.” Psalm 40:1-2
We’re all broken pots, leaking the pain of our hearts in places we don’t choose.
He finds beauty in our brokenness.