This post continues the story begun in Signs & Wonders, Why Haiti?, What Is Enough? , Plant Some Seeds, and Be Encouraged.
So far, this has generally been a nice story about connections between seemingly random things and about listening for God's voice, but I also said in "Be Encouraged" that I don't think the story is over. One reason I don't think it is over is because of the following:
At some point in our conversation, Andy said to me (emphasis mine):
I'm glad thoughts of Haiti and even a sense of vocation calling to go there someday has been nagging at you. That makes me happy, not because I think you should feel any sort of requirement to go and certainly not because I want you to feel guilt if you never end up going there, but because it sounds like God is placing some things on your heart that are going to lead you into some incredibly powerful experiences of brokenness, confusion and hope. Hopefully it won't be as painful as those words make it sound, but honestly, it's not going to be a vacation!
The words about brokenness flashed into my mind yesterday morning as I stood in church singing a song called "Hosanna" (video, lyrics). This song was one that had me in tears approximately one year ago after I returned from a mission trip to Kansas City and witnessed such hopelessness and poverty. The line "break my heart for what breaks yours" was what did it--I knew that God's heart was breaking because of Kansas City.
In addition to this song we sang one called "Take My Life" (video, lyrics). There were some lyrics in this song that I didn't think I'd heard before, and as I looked for them online later, they weren't in all versions. The line was "brokenness, brokeness is what I long for. Brokenness is what I need."
We don't really like the idea of being broken, do we? When something is broken, we either fix it or throw it away. We don't keep it in a state of brokenness (unless it is a plastic airplane you bought for $1 at a thrift store and you absolutely are not allowed to throw it away because it is claimed to be a favorite every time you try to do so and then is forgotten about shortly thereafter). Who actually desires to be broken? And yet, that is a message in these two songs.
These two songs, in turn, brought to mind Psalm 51:17: The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
I don't read Hebrew, so I have to rely on hovering over the word in my BibleWorks program to tell me what it means. It means a broken inner man, mind, will heart. It is that kind of sacrifice that is worth more to God than any other. It is when we are broken and cry out to God that God can pick up the pieces and heal us. It is when we are broken that God can recreate us as we are meant to be.
It is that idea of dying to ourselves (Romans 6:6; Ephesians 4:22; Colossians 3:9) and, as some would say, being "born again" into a new life (Ephesians 4:24; Colossians 3:10). For many, this is an instantaneous event. For me, it was and is not. It is a gradual and constant process. We are always being broken from old habits or beliefs and learning and growing in a new life. It is, in a sense, part of calling, part of listening to who and what God is calling us to be and do. How can we listen to and respond to His call if we seek after our own agendas?
Os Guinness writes:
"Calling is the truth that God calls us to himself so decisively that everything we are, everything we do, and everything we have is invested with a special devotion, dynamism, and direction lived out as a response to his summons and service." (in the Call, page 29).Calling and response. Calling and response. It is like a dance, or a butterfly in flight, or an echo across a lonely canyon.
Is He calling you? Are you responding? Are you being broken and recreated into all that you are meant to be?