Many years ago, when my children were young, they were roughhousing in the living room. As a result, the head on the rocking horse was accidentally broken. I don’t remember all the details but I do remember them not wanting to tell me because they weren’t supposed to be roughhousing. Furthermore, this particular horse was a special gift from my father who had passed away years before. My daughter, trying to atone for breaking the rules and wanting to ease my pain over the loss of an irreplaceable gift, tearfully offered to fix it with hot glue. I appreciated her offer but knew the horse was broken beyond the ability of hot glue repair. The wood was jagged, sharp, and split across the grain. I didn’t think there was any way to mend this. Filled with sadness, tears falling down my cheeks, I carried the broken horse outside to throw in the trash before its sharp edges hurt one of the children.
From his yard, my neighbor, Mr. Dombach, noticed my sadness and the broken horse. He stopped what he was doing to ask what had happened. I shared how the horse had been broken and that I was so miserable because it was an irreplaceable gift from my deceased father. Mr. Dombach was a carpenter and offered to repair it. I didn’t have much hope but thanked him for his kind offer and surrendered the jagged pieces. I was afraid to even have hope he might be able to fix it. Several days later he returned the horse. His expert woodworking and creative painting skills made the scars barely noticeable. Anyone who hadn’t known the prior look of the horse would never realize the brokenness that had been made right. He somehow not only restored it, but even added to its charm.
This life can break us. Careless words or actions can feel like unnecessary roughness with our tender hearts. The cumulative effects of stress, overwhelm, depression or any number of different scenarios and situations can leave us feeling shattered, broken in irreparable pieces, and without hope for restoration. Our shame can make us want to hide or try to fix things in our own strength but there’s another Carpenter whose skillful loving touch can restore us and heal our wounds if we surrender our brokenness. He can mend those jagged, sharp pieces of us that have the power to hurt others. Piece by piece he rebuilds and repairs, adding His character to us. Sin and brokenness are part of this life but the time will soon arrive where:
“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” (Revelation 21:4) “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3) “But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,’ declares the Lord.” (Jeremiah 30:17)
I’m really looking forward to that day of divine restoration.