We're All Scattered Pieces

30 Nov

When I traveled across China a few years ago, I stood at the point where the historically famous Silk Road starts. The Silk Road was known for bridging the polar opposites of the West and the East together through trade. I thought about how I came on that trip hoping to change someone’s life, and was immediately struck with the humbling realization that it was my life that would be forever altered.

Instead of seeing how corrupt the government was in oppressing it’s people, I saw people who were free in expressing themselves in conversation and art.

Instead of seeing weeping and bitterness over persecution within the church, I saw people who were genuinely joyful and free in Christ.

Instead of pitying their poverty, I envied the richness of their community and history.

Instead of seeing the stark differences with these people on the other side of the world, I saw how all humanity; every different color, background, history, and upbringing from the West to the East is really all the same.

We are all born into a broken world, we all know that. The word is used again and again in essays, poems and statistics.

Broken homes. Broken economy. Broken bodies. Broken hearts.

We know we are broken, but often we have this idea that it is within ourselves.
If I could only get fixed. My family. My fiances. My health. My country.

Could it be, that when we focus on our own lack of wholeness we are missing the point?

As the human race, our stories intertwine, weave together, become one tapestry.

We’re all connected.
This used to be a phrase reserved for new age, for mystic, eastern religions.

I am  glad the church of Jesus is beginning to embrace this truth.

The Apostle Paul said in Ephesians 1:9-10, that the mysterious plan of God is to bring everything together under Jesus.

Do we realize what that means? It means it’s not about us as individuals anymore. Eastern cultures such as the Chinese are born into a mindset that understands this. You come from a long line of human beings that have struggled through the world, and you children’s children will do the same. I don’t think our Western individualistic paradigms are even close to thinking that way.

We try to embrace this thing called community and it fits us awkwardly, like a glove on the wrong hand.

Yet every human being is born with a need to be part of a whole.
If we were honest with ourselves we’d realize everything we do, stripped down, stems from our desire for connection.
Why do people spend so much time searching for their “other half”?
Why is sex so powerful?
Why does everyone need a family, a clan, a tribe to be a part of?
We were ultimately created to be the bride of Christ. Bits and pieces of His purpose, His plan, His desire, His heart.

Maybe that’s why we sell ourselves short when we think our brokenness to wholeness is about us.
Maybe we are just one of the broken pieces of the whole.

I am beginning to see life through this filter.
We are so worried about “God’s plan for our lives” maybe instead of the details of where to go and what to do, we should focus on the Who.
Realizing that every decision we make towards connection, towards intimacy, community, bringing people together under Jesus, that is right.
And on the flip side every decision we make based on separation (selfishness) that is wrong.

Not to say I have arrived. As an advocate for community, I am a hypocrite. I am an introvert, and pretty independent, which can make things difficult. But as time goes on, I realize, independence will be the death of me. I am not an island and I need people. I am lost without them. God never intended for it to be any other way.

As I stood in the February wind in China, at the Silk Road, gazing at brave stone men fixed within statues telling stories of conquest and discovery, I got this innate sense of my connection to them.

It felt so enormous compared to my own individual  life, this feeling that I was a piece of the whole: a piece of God’s heart. Sitting there, in awe, I wrote this poem.

The most sorrowful sound ever heard
Was when Eden fell and God’s heart broke and scattered all over the world
A brilliant puzzle piece knocked from table to floor
Maybe all of history is the story of Him
Putting it back together again.

Why do we all long for peace so bad?
Why do we all feel orphaned and lost?
One world, one dream of redemption
We are all singing the same broken song
We are all scattered puzzle pieces waiting to belong
Colors and shapes of hopes and dreams
Grasped in a tight fist we tear the edges
From birth to love to frailty
We’ve got this game down
Bend but don’t break
Hope but don’t risk
Cover your blemishes and wear this frayed red gown

Maybe the breaking will lead to the mending
Maybe the breaking will lead to the mending
I am not afraid of a broken heart
This is redemption

And so, we all long deep in our gut, for the day of union. The day when each broken piece will come together under a great light and forever be whole.

One Response to “We're All Scattered Pieces”

  1. Becca November 30, 2010 at 1:37 pm #

    Sharing broken hearts. Ka-ching.

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