In her life, Maxine Wright of Bremen, Georgia, collected angel figurines. She also collected stories. Here's one about one of her angels.
One day as I was dusting, I discovered that one of my figurines had been broken; the same one that my granddaughter Jessica had been looking at the day before. As I learned later, she had accidentally dropped the little angel; breaking one of the wings. Horrified at what she'd done, she immediately put it back in its' place, but said nothing to grandma. Upon finding the broken angel the next day, for some reason I didn't throw it away. As I gently put it back in its place, I began to think back to the mistakes (accidents) I'd made in my life -- bad decisions and judgments, harsh words spoken to loved ones, paths I wished I'd never gone down. And I recalled how it was always somebody else's fault not mine. Looking at that little angel with the broken wing, Maxine Wright was reminded of another 'story'. It's the story that's been called, 'Greatest Story Ever Told.'
That story goes like this: Long ago God our heavenly Father made a perfect world. The best part of God's perfect world, were His two perfect people. Those two people, Adam and Eve, so lovingly created, God placed in a beautiful garden. God put them there as caretakers. They were to have dominion, to enjoy God's creation, including the fruit of every tree of the garden except for one. The rest of that story we read about in Genesis 3, especially the part of the story where God made a most incredible choice. God chose not to throw Adam and Eve away. Instead He chose to send His Son Jesus, who came down and loaded onto Himself their brokenness, their sin, but not just theirs alone. Jesus took up their sin, our sin, all sin of all people of all time, He took it up and carried it to the cross where He Himself was broken so that we might be restored. This work of restoration our Lord began in baptism and will continue through life until the Day of Resurrection when the Good work He began in Christ Jesus, will be brought to perfection (Philippians 1.6).
Until then, Maxine writes,
I can look at each new day with hope and purpose. I can face life with a smile, knowing that whatever comes my way, Jesus is with me. Such is the power of faith.
I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength. That's what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4.13. Faith enables you to see true beauty, even in the brokenness of life. Looking down at her broken angel Maxine realized why she never threw it away. God never throws away the pieces of a broken vessel. A day or so later Jessica came over. Grandma hugged her and told her not to worry about it. It was just a 'thing' and it could be replaced.
Long ago Isaiah wrote,
A bruised reed he will not break, a smoldering wick he will not quench, until He brings justice to victory. Question: What is feebler than a cracked reed or barely flickering wick? Answer: A broken sinner. Think about that the next time you find yourself dealing with a fellow member of the greatest of all collections . . . the Body of Christ. Jesus went about restoring, healing, and strengthening the very same. God reckons as useless none of these, for them, the broken of the world Christ has won the victory! And that's Good News.
~ Pastor Kelly G. Mitteis