A slip, a fall… OUCHHHH!!! These incidents seemed to recur often. Within a year, I managed to have a broken finger, twisted ankle (twice) and an injured spine. My colleagues (ironically at a Christian Healthcare centre) couldn’t help laughing at my misfortunes. Actually now looking back at that year, I have to admit it is indeed rather hilarious…. limping or walking ever so slowly through the entrance must have been a sight. I count it a blessing to have had the nurses around me at those times. (And no, I’m not a doctor!). Each experience presented with it, incapacitations and limitations of its own.
Never would I have imagined how the broken ring finger, and just the tip at that, could have such an impact. Attempting to eat and do my regular tasks made me realise that even the ring finger was essential to support the other fingers in holding something – it was crucial for a grip!
The broken (or injured) bones made it difficult for me to live life the usual way. It was next to impossible to do things alone. I will never forget the neighbour aunt – she realised I was skipping solid meals as a result of the broken finger and she even fed me rice. Bathing, dressing and every part of the routine, which we would consider mundane, became a struggle. It reminds me of an infant who has to depend on its parents for every task. It was frustrating to say the least.
However, it showed me how independent I had been. Whether the independence was by choice or by circumstances was irrelevant. I had been rather independent. It was only through this physical brokenness that I realised what it meant to be on the receiving end of acts of kindness… to allow others to minister to my needs. I needed to ASK for help. Now that was difficult! It takes humility to be able to ask let alone receive, especially for those of us who are used to being independent and moreover for those who are multi-talented.
Likewise, it takes a broken heart to be able to yield to God, to surrender to Him. When everything is going well or smoothly, do we seriously turn to God? Very unlikely! When we can’t achieve things within our means or with our efforts, we tend to turn to God. It is then that we are broken and know that we can’t go on any further without Him or His Body. “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise” – Psalm 51:17.
Matthew recounts Jesus addressing Jerusalem, “How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing” (Matthew 23:37). God won’t force Himself on us. Rather He waits for us to approach Him. He does not despise a broken and contrite heart – it is then that He can minister to you.
God will definitely not turn you away – He is longing to gather us together and function as His Body; not to be dependent on each other or independent but rather to be interdependent