Broken! It’s one of those words that don’t bring a lot of joy. Who wants to be broken? Bones are broken, promises are broken, expectations are broken, homes are broken, hearts are broken. As a matter of fact, our lives are full of brokenness. How can we live with so much brokenness without becoming bitter?
Brokenness has become endemic in our days. In poll after poll, the vast majority of respondents say that our country is fundamentally broken. Our political system is broken. Our economy is broken. And our very society, the way we live together, our values, our priorities, all of them are broken. Although the question doesn’t come up in too many polls, I bet most people—if they are honest with themselves—would admit that they themselves are broken, too.
For Christians, however, the brokenness of the world and their own brokenness should not come as breaking news. Reaching all the way back to the beginnings of our Judeo-Christian tradition, there has been a clear understanding that creation, the entire world, is broken.
That must make for a gloomy book, you might think. But that’s jumping to conclusions too fast. Not only are there cures for brokenness, but there is even glory in brokenness. For Christians, brokenness and the healing of brokenness are at the very heart of the Christian faith. Christians believe that God became a human being in Jesus who suffered and died on the Cross. He came to be among the broken-hearted in a broken world. Jesus came into the flesh—and with that flesh comes suffering and brokenness. If Jesus is broken, then God in fact knows brokenness in flesh and blood. That’s a very painful, yet comforting thought behind this book.