Text: Mark 10:1-52, Isaiah 51:17, 1 Peter 4:13
I’ll never forget the day Larry broke his neck. Wedged between cardboard boxes and covered in bubble wrap, my beloved rocking horse sat in the corner of a moving truck that would take him to my family’s new house, states away.
My dad dreamed up Larry shortly after I was born. He carefully calculated each detail, making sure it was short enough for my little-girl stature, wide enough to fill the empty corner of my bedroom, and colorful enough to make me cheer with delight. His creation was the perfect combination of mint green, pastel yellow, flowered harness, rope hair, and toddler joy.
But one sharp turn and a loud “crack!” later, Larry toppled into the truck’s side, breaking in two. I can only imagine the nightmares the poor truck driver probably still has after coming between a little girl and her rocking horse.
As I’ve become more aware of brokenness, I’ve realized it doesn’t always make a loud “crack!” As people fractured since the Fall, do we even notice the cracks? It’s easier to classify some things as broken: adultery, sickness, murder. But I’m slow to remember their opposites—marriage, wellness, friendship—are cracked too. Even our best is broken.
C.S. Lewis reminds us that even our joy is broken:
“We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink
and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us,
like an ignorant child who wants to go on making
mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what
is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are
far too easily pleased.”
Far too easily pleased. Friends, this doesn’t mean we’re low-maintenance children of God. Rather, we are refusing to believe God is the supreme good.
In Mark 10, the crowds are asking Jesus questions about the Kingdom of God, each one revealing their half-heartedness; they want His approval on matters of divorce, salvation, and money. God never approves brokenness, but He does send someone to heal it. How easily we forget this truth. Even our memories are cracked!
We are adulterers; He remains committed to us.
We want possessions; He calls us His.
We are broken; He is whole.
The crowd asks pointed questions as they pick up the earthly, broken pieces to see where they belong in the big puzzle of the Kingdom of God. In each of His responses, we see Jesus point to God’s divine creation (v. 6), joining together (v. 9), covenant promise (v. 39), and sacred union (v. 39). Jesus mends even the brokenness we cannot see.
Although Larry’s neck is now held together by Super Glue®, I love him the same way I did right after the final coat of paint was finished and I could behold my dad’s complete and perfect work.
Despite our false notions and obvious cracks, Jesus looks at us the same way, remembering His Father’s creation and perfect union. “Come, follow me,” He says (v. 21). Like the healed blind man who can now see, may we follow Him on the road to His Kingdom. Amen.
Wake yourself, wake yourself up!
Stand up, Jerusalem,
you who have drunk the cup of His fury
from the hand of the Lord;
you who have drunk the goblet to the dregs—
the cup that causes people to stagger.