Visiting a friend at his family gathering, a young grandson brought smiles to our faces by practicing his new skills in salesmanship. He was selling rocks packaged in plastic snack bags, freshly collected from the river running directly in front of us. His “bargain price” for these rocks was one dollar.
Unable to resist the dimples and charm of this young entrepreneur, the adults dug deep for small cash. As we produced dollar bills, we were quickly informed that his preferred currency was coin. Four shiny quarters were better than one piece of paper and one hundred pennies were even better! No one cheated the boy, but he would have gladly accepted any amount of change over a single paper bill. Chuckles and knowing looks were exchanged among the adults thinking, “Soon enough he’ll understand.”
Pondering the purchase of those river rocks, I thought of Christ’s broken body, payment for the debt of our sin. God sent His son Jesus to make change in our lives, in our brokenness...an exchange. The breaking of Him was for restoration of us.
Before his crucifixion, Jesus feeds thousands by breaking up a single lunch of bread and fishes into pieces. He prays blessing. He breaks. He restores. Many were fed with the pieces. And somehow there was excess where the whole seemed insufficient.
Then, the Gospel of Luke recounts the Last Supper in a way that paints the picture of this divine broken way. Jesus addresses the Apostles in Luke 22:19 (ESV):
“And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.’”
Jesus tears his dinner roll into pieces and hands those pieces to the Apostles. Did they remember serving up the bread and fish to the multitudes? Now Jesus is telling them to do likewise. Tearing and sharing and saying now you restore too. Jesus then submitted himself to being broken for the sake of wholeness offered to mankind.
If you tear God into one hundred pieces, is He still the almighty God? Yes, of course! Yet to those of us who receive His forgiveness, that broken body is priceless!
The hurts of this life have torn me to pieces. Perhaps you are torn up too. So, what if we stopped striving to pull ourselves together and, instead, we offer our fragments as a love offering for the restoration of broken relationships?
Forgiveness is about paying the bill of the hurt someone has inflicted upon you. Is there enough love within you to pay that debt? Or have the wounds drained us of the love God filled us with?
Relational injuries feel like the weight of worthless rocks, and giving love in exchange for them is irrational. But this is the call Christ gave to his followers – to love. Even our enemies.
The next time you find yourself digging deep for change, pause and be
reminded of how much love God has poured into you, and how much love you have to spend on others.
Sharon has been writing and teaching biblically based curriculum, Bible studies, and devotionals since 2007.
She has had the unique position of writing curriculum and teaching for two private, Christ-based, residential recovery programs. Both programs primarily served women in the homeless community.
Sharon has traveled multiple times to Kenya, serving on medical teams and teaching in the rural Maasai communities. She’s been privileged to speak in Leadership camps intended on encouraging and empowering the impoverished, underprivileged, and often abused young women.
Within these ministries, Sharon has witnessed the transformative power of loving words spoken to the broken-hearted. Sharing God’s love and witnessing its transformative power has become her passion.
Sharon and her husband, divide their time between Oregon and Hawaii. They have two grown children.
Currently, Sharon is encouraging others via her inspirational blog, but prefers sharing face to face. Additionally, she is working towards a degree in Ministry.
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