“Everything is broken. That’s how the light gets in.”  Leonard Cohen

John and I are often surprised that God delights in working through us. Yet like most humans, we are still bent towards the belief that God only uses our gifts and abilities.  So last night’s dinner conversation was especially encouraging.

New York City is full of beautiful old church buildings that serve a handful of congregants at best and that’s only if the church is still used for worship. So it’s quite unusual that our congregation owns one of the few cathedrals in the city. Our dinner host excitedly shared many unknown details of how this came about. His story revealed that it was precisely the difficult character of several people and the frustration of problematic events that eventually led to the saving of the building and its congregation. His story reminded me of some of my favorite Old Testament stories. And of course of my own journey.

I vividly recall childhood episodes that would give any mother an anxiety disorder.  On one occasion, when my father’s board members were over for dinner, one man in particular stood out because of a few comments he made about women. I felt it was my duty at the ripe old age of twelve to show him his error and to do so from scripture. I would like to report that I no longer make those mistakes or lash out in frustration at others.  But that’s  simply not true. Yet, I can see more clearly now where God has used my brokenness  for his glory. My point isn’t that we should sin so grace will abound. Not at all. But instead, can we celebrate that God delights in us even with all of our messiness?

As  you sit around the Thanksgiving table this week, consider where God may have let the light in because of your faults. Where have you been part of a rescue story not because of your heroism, but because of your brokenness? Ah ha! This is where the gospel really shines! Because of what Christ has accomplished for us on the cross, we get to join God in the bigger redemption story.  And while it’s nearly impossible to comprehend, the Godhead specializes in messed up lives.

Where are you broken, without hope, weak? Where have you failed? And what has God done because of that failure?

These are the kind of stories I like to hear. Maybe yours can’t be shared around the table, but consider telling one person a way God has used your brokenness for his glory.


Oops–and don’t forget the small print. If you’re messed up and want to help other messed up people, check out our Here for Her campaign.