Broken Lives Worth Mending
Here is an article I published a few years back, that I thought it would be worth sharing again after discussing this topic on our latest podcast.
I was speaking to someone at the end of last week. We ended up talking about the fact that God often uses the things in our lives that we are ashamed of to make us into better people. The cracks and the scars still remain but very often in practice they make us more valuable.
I told the person this story. When I was a young minister I used to take my daughter out on some of my parish visits. One day an elderly lady gave SJ a present. It was a doll’s cup and saucer, one that she had when she was a little girl. It must have been at least 80 years old. We took it home and duly put it on a safe shelf in the house. SJ was warned it was something she should keep - it was really too fragile for play.
One day she stood up on a chair grabbed the cup, and of course the whole thing came tumbling down, fell on the floor, and the saucer broke into pieces. It was tears all round. We gathered up all the pieces and put them in a bag and forgot about them.
A few months later I was relating to someone the story of the broken saucer. The lady told me that her father loved fixing things and she was sure he could piece together the saucer, which he duly did.
The story doesn't finish there. I was telling the story as an illustration of God's patience and kindness in one of my sermons. A member of the congregation, Ann Mahoney was taken on with the story and she wrote some words inspired by the sermon. When we recorded the Praise Album ‘There Must Be More” another member of the congregation, Ian Walker wrote a tune to fit the words and he sang the song on the album.
It doesn't finish there. A year or two later I visited a member of the congregation who was in hospital nearing the end of his life. I noticed he had been listening to some music through his earphones. "So what were you listening to?” I asked. "The church praise album," was the reply. He then continued, "I've been playing the song, ‘Broken Lives Worth Mending’, over and over again all day. You've no idea the comfort I'm getting from it." He continued, “It's such a comfort to think that God thought I was worth fixing.”
And all that happened because I took SJ on a parish visit. Makes you think how all our lives are inextricably linked to each other and to God.
Very Rev Albert Bogle
You can listen to this song, and Albert and James discussing this story, on our recent podcast ‘Broken lives’.