Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Value of Broken Things

Many apologies to my readers for my absenteeism from posting on my blog. My mother died in mid-February and the weeks that have followed have been filled with every kind of emotion imaginable. How grateful I am that my brother, sister, and I were able to spend the last three days of her life together and with Mom.

On the day of the funeral, things began to get weird in the way of family dynamics. People mourn in so many different ways. Some cry (like me). Some lash out in anger when really deep inside they are hurting beyond what words can describe. Some refuse to talk about the death while others babble nonstop. Some people isolate themselves, thinking no one can understand the depths of their pain. Other folks can’t stand to be alone. And then there are those who keep themselves so busy they don’t have time to feel or deal with their loss. It’s been interesting as well as heart-wrenching to watch the gamut of reactions within my family.

And then there’s my mother’s stuff. Stuff – with a capital S. An oriental art history major, Mom worked as an appraiser and collected pieces here and there. Mostly here. She’d given much of her collection away after receiving the diagnosis of terminal breast cancer and kept that much more. However, many items had been chipped or cracked and glued back together. My mother saw the value in everything. To me, however, her cracked and chipped collection looked like garbage. My brother jokingly suggested we call 1-800-GOT-JUNK. I rather agreed – seriously. Still, my sister and I returned Mom’s apartment almost every day since her death, sorting and pricing. Handling Mom’s precious things was very healing for me. But the question remained: Would anyone show up at the estate sale and buy this stuff?

I was surprised when on Friday morning my husband and I arrived at her place at 7:00 am and already 10 people waited at the door. An hour later, 20 people waited. We didn’t open until 9:00 am! When we did, we let only a few people in at a time and amazingly her chipped collection flew off tabletops and the fireplace mantel. While the pieces appeared worthless, they were still popular with collectors who paid good money for them.

The experience got me  thinking about the Lord and how He loves even those people we deem as “worthless” or un-lovable. Can you think of someone like that? Several people come to my mind. And yet, God loves those folks so much He sent His only begotten Son to die a horrendous, torturous death on the cross for their sins. Remember, Jesus came not for the righteous, but the unrighteous. He sees the value in what others assume is worthless. Like my mom’s cracked and chipped oriental collection in her eyes (and in the eyes of antique dealers too), the redeemed of the Lord are His treasures.

But I shouldn't be so surprised, really. This is the very theme of my e-book Broken Things. I hope you'll download your copy soon. I think my books speaks to so many times in life -- and in death -- when we're broken. But the beauty is that God can rebuild. He's doing that in my heart now, rebuilding so I'm stronger and better-able to serve Him in the future.

When was a time in your life when you were totally broken by a situation?


Aritha V. said...

This is the first time I visit your blog. I'm so sorry about your mother. Idd not all people react the same in times of mourning. I do not cry, I cry until I'm alone.

Your post, the first one I read, I appreciate it. I love my google translator :-), who helps me with the translation and I hope you understand my poor english.
Brokenness is part of our lives. And I feel that God precisely in those times is very close.

The first time I was so broken was the time when my the six year old son of my sister died of cancer.

Greetings from Holland.
Iám your new follower.

pol said...

Andrea thanks for sharing about your Mom passing and how different folks grieve in different ways. It hardly seems like it, but My mom left us in 98, I think a Mother may be the hardest one to lose in your life, God be with your family. I like the sound of your book Broken Things, will be looking for it.
Paula O