the value of broken things

IN THE WORLD OF ANTIQUES and collectibles, a chip or a flaw can be seriously detrimental to the value of an item. Often, on the many antique shows on television, we hear phrases like, “It’s such a shame it’s damaged”. Hunting for bargains, discovering what valuables we might have tucked away…it’s all about the value, about what it can do for us.

A broken toy is often quickly discarded and our loyalties move on to an unblemished version. A broken object is a useless object. What good is a vase when it is smashed to smithereens?

On a different level, people can also be seen as less valuable because of their flaws and their scars. A broken person can be seen as a difficult person. A person low in confidence is less desirable than someone brimming with confidence. When an employer recruits for a certain position there are qualities he / she looks for. There are also qualities they wish to avoid.  Sometimes you hear others speaking of a person’s life: “What a waste!” Or, “if only they weren’t so…”, and “if they didn’t have…” In other words, it’s such a shame they’re damaged.

In the midst of all this, the unconditional love of God blasts a hole through all our conceptions of value. In spite of all our flaws and scars he values us to the highest degree possible. Our chips and scratches don’t lessen our worth to him in the slightest. In fact, God has a special kindness towards the broken. The stories of our hurts are carved onto his heart.

(to be continued)

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