MEGAN BASHAM, HOST: Next up on The World and Everything in It: how God uses brokenness for His glory.
New Life Church is a megachurch in Colorado Springs, Colorado. It went through some pretty challenging events over a decade ago: A sex scandal and then a shooting a year later that took the lives of two people. How does a church recover from trauma like that?
MARY REICHARD, HOST: New Life Church pastor Glenn Packiam spoke to Listening In host Warren Smith about brokenness and healing. Here’s part of that conversation.
SMITH: I’m a big fan of a musician named Andrew Peterson and he’s got a song called Don’t You Want To Thank Someone. And one of the lines in that song is, “What if it is a better thing to be broken and redeemed than to be merely innocent?” That’s the language he used—to be merely innocent. And that’s kind of a hard saying, but if the chief end of man is to bring glory to God, what if somehow it brings more glory to God that we are broken and redeemed than, than to be “merely innocent.” That’s a pretty hard but also potentially really powerful idea.
PACKIAM: It glorifies God because it says there’s nothing that he can’t undo. There’s nothing that could derail. So, throw your worst and somehow God finds a way to make a masterpiece out of what we thought was this disaster. And I would argue that it ends up being for our joy. We have the joy of actually being part of a story that was just miraculously transformed. So, yeah, bread that is not broken cannot be shared. There is life beyond the brokenness. There is a purpose beyond the stuff that’s difficult in our story. And we need not shy away from that. I think that’s part of my hope for the reader is to say, look, what you’ve experienced does not disqualify you. Place it in Jesus’s hands. Let him redeem it. And watch what happens. Watch what comes from it.
SMITH: Glenn, there’s an idea that I first heard about, I think from Makoto Fujimura, called kintsugi. Can you explain what that means?
PACKIAM: It’s this ancient Japanese approach to pottery where a really expensive bowl shatters and they decide instead of throwing away the pieces to put it back together, but put gold in the seams. And so now all of a sudden they didn’t just glue it together, you know, so it’s all, we can see the cracks or whatever. But actually the seams are now filled with gold, so it became more valuable and it became a different kind of beauty precisely because of its brokenness. I think grace is like that. I think grace is the gold that holds the broken pieces of our lives together. So, again, if brokenness is really about openness, being opened up to the grace of God, then grace is the gold that holds us together.