The Embarrassment of Brokenness

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There is something I am ashamed to admit. Even now, after all these years. Although I was never, ever ashamed of my mom, when I was little I was embarrassed by her. She told me once, that when I was about 4 or 5, a neighborhood friend was at the house, and I very helpfully explained to him that my mom “was broken.” The child had asked why she was using a walker. As the years went on, I didn’t want to bring friends over. I didn’t want people to see her that way. I didn’t want to have to explain why she was like that. The truth is that she wasn’t broken, I was in my embarrassment. Of course, I was wrong in that impulse, but it is a common impulse among all people. We don’t want to admit to weakness of any sort that might be associated with us…it is embarrassing. No one wants to mention a chronic, much less a terminal illness; or the loss of a job; or a broken relationship; or financial problems. No one wants to be embarrassed. The most sobering realization I have ever come to, is recognizing that more than anywhere else, God is most present to us in our brokenness. This notion is what we call the theology of the cross, and implies that we find Jesus coming to us, not us going to him. Moreover seeing that he comes to us in our weakness and brokenness, not our wealth or success or strength. So if you want to see just, its probably best to look where he is, not where he isn’t.

~Pastor Luther