Charles and his wife had just finished the first leg of their vacation trip when he slipped and slid down the steps of his RV, breaking his ankle. Since his wife didn’t know how to drive their vehicle, he did what any retired, 70+, army colonel with a high pain tolerance would do: drive it the whole three hours back home to go to the emergency room they were familiar with. When I heard what had happened, I rushed to the ER to meet my friend. To my surprise, I found him sitting up in bed, smiling and joking like nothing had happened. The doctor came in a few minutes later to try to set his broken ankle. “Do you want any medicine for the pain?” he asked. “No, I’ll get some later if I need it,” Charles responded. He only agreed when the doctor insisted. What happened next was the most painful for me. I cringed as I watched the doctor twist and torque on the broken ankle. Yet again, Charles seemed to be in no pain at all.
Many of us are similar to my friend in that we may be very good at hiding our brokenness. People are, after all, broken in many different ways: physical, emotional, mental, spiritual. Perhaps we have become accustomed to it. Maybe we feel it is too embarrassing to share. Or maybe we make no effort to hide it at all. However we may deal with it, broken people are a reality of our broken world.
Today we are beginning a series called “Beauty Hidden in Brokenness”. Over the next few weeks, we will be studying what it means to be broken people and how it may not be as bad as we think.