Five Minute Friday again where I typically bring you poetry in five. Today’s word is BROKEN and I actually have a story instead of a poem this week. I apologize for not timing today’s post as usual (got carried away with my story and forgot), but I hope you will think what I wrote instead was worth it and will be touched. This story is about broken vessels , and not the blood vessel kind 🙂
After my uncle died from pancreatic cancer a few years ago Mom and I started making prayer shawls for people with illnesses, hurts, and losses. It all started because her brother received a prayer shawl sometime after his diagnosis. I have knit many prayer shawls for people in need, but there is one shawl story that will always stand out to me the most. It was Christmas and my aunt was broken from the loss (first Christmas without uncle) and she went to spend time at church where she ended up sitting next to another woman who came there in her brokenness as well. I do not remember this woman’s full story- only that her marriage had ended and she was feeling alone. I think maybe she and my aunt had exchanged tears and hugs that night. I had just finished a beautiful blue shawl made from a soft furry yarn and I had not known who to give it to until that moment. I asked my aunt if she could please give it to this woman as a Christmas gift.
With prayer shawls we pray over them and include a prayer card before sending them off, so that the people know they have been prayed for and are not alone. As I was praying over her shawl, a phrase kept rotating in my head like a mantra and I got the feeling that I was supposed to write it down on the prayer card (instead of the regular verse) to give to this woman as a message. I felt really silly to give it to her in case she thought it was weird or something, but I obeyed the inkling (as I felt it may just be the holy spirit speaking to me about this). The phrase was about brokenness:
” Do not be afraid of brokenness-for God uses it for His good. To help Him repair others so that we may again become whole.” The phrase went on to say that it is actually a special place to be in (i.e doesn’t have to be a bad place), because the broken can minister to others where the un-broken can’t. They know how it feels to be broken and can speak of God’s grace. Those words were followed by this scripture, ” He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds. -Psalm 147:3″
Feeling shy and rather stupid to give this lady what was pressed on my heart, I threw caution to the wind and sent out her shawl with that message. This was her email response to me ( I have changed her name to keep that private):
I am speechless …… in awe of my Father who loves me so much that He would send me a word of love and comfort through a perfect stranger. Although you are not perfect, I sense that He is indeed perfecting you through your gifts. As your fingers move in the creating of these shawls, so God is perfectly weaving every fiber of your being into a beautiful and precious cloth for Him. May He bless your life as He blesses your hands for allowing Him to use you in such a special way. I would love to commission you to make prayer shawls for an intercessory prayer group of 12. Let me know if this is possible. By the way, what you do with your hands is not your primary gift, it is your ability to bring Christ to a place where we can reach out and touch Him and experience Him one on one. Thank you so much.
Your Sister is the Spirit,
That was followed by a message in another email: “You were on target with the note that you sent to me about brokeness. Guess what the name of our prayer group is? ……… Broken Vessels 🙂 May God bless you to keep hearing His voice.”
I am not sharing this for my own gratification, but since the word was Broken, I wanted to share a little miracle I experienced that had to do with this very word. With it being Good Friday and Easter Sunday, what better of a time to speak of God and His miracles? I refused payment for the shawls and wanted to make all dozen of them free (even thought it would take MEGA hours of labor). She wouldn’t have it though and sent me a check for my labor anyway (meeting a need I had at that time). The whole experience was a miracle in so many ways-and after those words on being broken were given to me for Mary, I realized they were meant for me to. By the way- I have never met Mary in person, as she lives on the other side of the US. Ironically her fav. color is blue (the very color of the shawl I sent her)
It is amazing the things that can happen when we step out in faith. I was hesitant to put myself out there-working through brokenness myself at the time (having formed a protective shell around myself out of mistrust and fear of rejection due to circumstances I had been through). Yet when I did, something beautiful happened. In reaching out to another, not only was she blessed , but I was greatly blessed as well. Blessed in the spirit with an event I will never forget. One that blessed 12 more ladies who gathered together in prayer to pray on behalf of the broken- “The Broken Vessels”.
I was hesitant to even share this today. I almost deleted this writing, as it was a very personal experience and I am not sure how it will be received by the reader (sometimes my blogging just goes in a different direction than planned!). I felt compelled to share though, since today’s word prompt was “broken”.
I leave you with these thoughts:
- That brokenness can be a blessing and out of it can come little miracles and meaningful experiences if you have an open heart. One of the best ways to heal your own brokenness is to reach out a hand to help others in need. Never be afraid to reach out to another- you don’t know who you may touch out there or how God will use you. You just never know what blessings you and others would miss out on if you never stepped out in Faith.
- God provides. One of His names, Jehovah-Jireh, means just that. He sees our needs and He provides. You can click here for a more in depth description of what that name and other names of God mean.