Birth of a blog
Updated: Dec 30, 2019
Have you ever been in a situation where you are certain that God is asking (telling) you to do something, and you are equally convinced it is not a good idea? Starting a blog called Broken Vessel was one of those discussions with God. Getting it off the ground has forced me to question some unconsciously deeply held beliefs about wholeness and the notion of victory in some Christian circles.
It came about two years ago, at of all places Spring Harvest – a UK evangelical conference. I had never been before and went out of curiosity, and to hang out with friends by the sea at Skegness. In my younger days I loved the whole full-on charismatic experience. Now I am looking for something quieter and simpler where I can engage personally with God and try to tune into what God is saying to me, rather than having a message thrust at me. So, I was delighted to discover at this full-on event that there was a contemplative prayer session.
I wandered around the prayer stations enjoying the peace and quiet, having time to be still and silent. I sat at a large cross covered in annotated post-it notes. Picking up a coloured square and pen God gave me a picture of a cracked pot with light shining out of the gaps.
I sensed him saying that he wanted me to “minister out of my brokenness”.
Taken aback by this encounter I was torn between thinking I had heard from God but challenged by the idea that being broken was a good place to from which to help others. Surely you need to be fixed and whole first?
My experience of church culture is that you can only give a testimony if you have victory in a situation or are able to cheerfully persevere through it. Neither of those apply to me. Victory for me could be that I got out of bed this morning rather than being overwhelmed by anxiety or depression. Or that I only scoffed half a packet of biscuits rather than the whole lot. In my book, cheerful endurance is an oxymoron. As an intensely emotional and sensitive person, I feel the full weight of my emotions and putting on a happy, stoic or bland professional face is a struggle.
Wrestling with these thoughts I went over to the next station, where I had the opportunity for someone to pray for me. I was greeted by a friendly Baptist minister, wearing beautiful Celtic earrings and a multicoloured jacket. Deliberately choosing not to tell her what had just occurred, I asked her to pray. Yet as she prayed aloud it was as if I had told her all. It was confirmation that I couldn't deny.
The image God gave me that day was of a broken pot lovingly put back together again, but the cracks and gaps were still clearly visible. The light shone out of the gaps. This was a new revelation to me. I thought I had to be fixed and whole with all the cracks gone to be ‘useful’. What I learned that night was that God delights in shining out of broken vessels too.
And so this blog was conceived. It has taken nearly two years for it to be birthed because I needed such a huge paradigm shift to be able to write from where I am rather than where I think I should be.
As Leonard Cohen so eloquently put it:
there is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
PAUSE AND PONDER
What assumptions of yours has God shaken up recently?
Which cracks are you hiding from Jesus' light?
Will you allow Jesus' to shine not just in, but through your life as it is right now?
Please feel free to post your ponderings below.