Broken

Have you ever noticed that you don’t appreciate something that works flawlessly? But once it is broken and pieced back together you can see with a whole new respect?

We take perfection for granted. Because we have nothing, really, to compare it to. So it works, no big deal? Isn’t that what it is supposed to do?

Take my iphone.  A few months ago I was carrying it around without its indestructible carrying case (dumb, I know) and it fell on some beveled concrete. And the glass screen shattered. In lots of little pieces.  (Literally I cut my finger on a shard.)

It was several weeks before I could replace the BROKEN glass. I grimaced as I used it for several days, the glass a reminder of my mistake. And when I finally got it repaired I had a whole new appreciation for the device. The glass screen was flawless. It was magical. Even though my iphone was no more perfect than before it was BROKEN, I had new appreciation for it.

Take my heart. It wasn’t until it was battered and bruised, until I sobbed gut-wrenching tears, that I truly began to appreciate something as simple as a deep painless breath.

Next time something breaks, as all things inevitably seem to do, I am going to try to look at it is an opportunity to appreciate it more fully once it is mended. And I am going to TRY to fully appreciate all the things that I are in working order that I take for granted.

Are there things in your life that you take for granted because they have never been broken?

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Lindsey has a sincere love for her precious dogs Molly and Maisy, a good red wine and the Delta Sky Club. She spends her days (and some nights) laboring to end childhood hunger at Feed the Children and to gather, equip and unleash women at IF:Gathering.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • it seems that I take everything for granted…
    But the biggest thing for me was about 5 years ago when my family that seemed to be perfect was broken and in need of repair. I learned this lesson that day.
    My recent post Set-up to Fail

  • Great post Lindsey! I think you are right on! Most people never experience life as they could because they do everything they can to avoid brokenness. Avoiding it only robs you of the deep appreciation you speak of!
    My recent post Public Put Downs

  • Absolutely. This was made very clear to me recently when something I thought was a huge part of my life was suddenly taken away primarily because of my pride, arrogance, and a sense that I could always depend on it. I truly didn't appreciate it when I had it. Now I am battling the regret of being so foolish and taking it for granted. It is a constant battle to look forward and see what God has planned for me through this, because my human nature wants me to dwell on my foolishness.

  • Great point. Same way with people. We have a tendency to under-appreciate them without realizing it until they aren't there. It may be that "selfish, childish, self-deserving" part of our humanity that we will constantly be fighting on this earth.
    My recent post Fighting With “Why Bother”…

  • Great insight! I almost cried just seeing that picture and having to think about my iPhone being shattered…. wow

    reminds me of a recent situation we had at home. our roof leaked for 4 months and the apartment management wouldn't get it fixed. i grumbled and moaned and you know what else for all those months like an ungrateful brat. then had to have 3rd back surgery and haven't worked for 2 months. i now have an appreciation for that roof leak, as i see that God was using it to make financial provision through reduced rent for us as i mend and try to get back to work.

    kinda different, but that's what this reminded me of.

    glad your iPhone is fixed!! can't imagine!! 😉
    My recent post I Bet You Can’t “Pants on the Ground” Any Better Than This!!!

  • Great insight! I almost cried just seeing that picture and having to think about my iPhone being shattered…. wow

    reminds me of a recent situation we had at home. our roof leaked for 4 months and the apartment management wouldn't get it fixed. i grumbled and moaned and you know what else for all those months like an ungrateful brat. then had to have 3rd back surgery and haven't worked for 2 months. i now have an appreciation for that roof leak, as i see that God was using it to make financial provision through reduced rent for us as i mend and try to get back to work.

    kinda different, but that's what this reminded me of.

    glad your iPhone is fixed!! can't imagine!! 😉
    My recent post I Bet You Can’t “Pants on the Ground” Any Better Than This!!!

  • This is so very true. It often takes very difficult circumstances before we can fully appreciate the love and support we have from family and friends or the strength we have inside ourselves. I think that's why bad things happen…to bring us closer to God and those that mean so much to us.

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  • GREAT POST LINDSEY!!!

    I had a real problem with this until I lost almost everything I owned in an apartment fire in 2005. You really learn to appreciate things when you're walking through burned out rubble.
    My recent post The loss of a child

    • I can't imagine losing everything like that. Something like that would sure put things in perspective quickly.

  • Reggie

    Great post. Funny, I wrote a similar post titled "Broken" on an old blog I used to have about my broken iPhone that dropped on my concrete garage floor. It wasn't as bad as yours and it still works so to this day, I'm still using it. I refuse to pay the $200 the Apple store charges to fix it! However, after a while I got used to the broken glass to the point where sometimes you don't realize it's broken. That makes me wonder about the parts of ourselves that are broken and we're so used to living with it, that we don't know it's there. I believe it takes prayer in asking God to reveal those parts that needs fixing. It also helps to have relationships where you can be real with each other and those people can lovingly bring those issues to the surface as well.

    Anyways, my real question is not spiritual at all. I wanted to know how you got your glass fixed and how much it costs. I'm waiting for the new iPhone to come out (hopefully in a few months) and just replace my phone completely but if there's a cheaper solution than taking it into the Apple store, I'd explore that too.

  • Is it just the glass that is broken? If so, I paid $75 for a glass replacement kit. http://www.ubreakifix.com/iphone-3gs-glass-replac… One of our IT guys who is a little more saavy put it on for me. He said it was easy to follow the video tutorials you can find online.

    • Thanks so much Lindsey! Just ordered mine. Looks like a good company. I'm gonna attempt to do it myself.

  • I guess, there are a couple of other options too:
    – broken and never mended (the pain changes, but never really goes away for the important things)
    – broken, mended and then the realization that it shouldn't have mattered so much in the first place.

    The hard part is not knowing the outcome in the middle of the brokenness.
    My recent post Wink Wink

    • Sure are. I was actually thinking that what we have an opportunity to learn from other's brokenness. And that this is why we need to share ours, so that others can learn and be spared. Might post on that tomorrow…if I get ambitious. 😉

  • Great Post I love this. I always forget how great things are sometimes.

  • Amen!

  • Maybe this is one of the reasons why God desires brokenness in our lives (Ps 51:17)–so that when he fixes us, we can learn to appreciate Him more.

  • Mary West

    Did you know that when glass is under fire it liquifies and can be reshaped and smoothed and become brand new. It even strengthens after it hardens. Our God is an all consuming fire that molds us into his image. He strenngthens us after each firey trial. In His Love and Care, Mary

  • Great post Lindsey!

  • I love this quote by Hemingway: "The world breaks everyone. And afterward, many are strong at the broken places."

    Some things are just better after they are broken–a vial of perfume, a crushed herb leaf, etc.

    Oh – and God's repair shop is free. 🙂
    My recent post How Do You Want to Die?

    • As quoted in the movie "Bottleshock." The whole theme of that movie is becoming stronger in the broken places.

  • Think about a new car with it's bright shiny paint. The first scratch is the hardest. After two or three, it definitely gets easier. I just picked up a Droid phone and dropped it on the second day while trying to gingerly balance it atop a notebook. The resulting scratch really made me wince. I now have a new case and a new appreciation of how slippery cell phones can be!
    My recent post I Clicked The Button And Suddenly Twitter Made Sense

  • Absolutely beautiful…and very, very true. It’s also a reminder of how God sees us…perfection after brokenness. Besides, it’s our scars and stories that make us unique…and remind us of how far God’s grace has brought us. Thank you so, so much for sharing…

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  • Amy Nabors

    I think this is probably true for everyone. I know it is for me. I try to make myself slow down and remember to appreciate not only the big things, but the little things. Thanks so much for sharing.
    My recent post Giveaways coming soon & a little craftiness.

  • This hit me right where I was at when I first read it, which is why I've taken a few days before commenting. I just had this experience. A good friendship was a bit broken, and I didn't know how to fix it. Interestingly, a ceramic figurine that friend had given me had accidentally been broken, and I had stuffed the pieces in a drawer.

    Last week, inspired by Anne Jackson's post about forgiveness and reconciliation, I realized forgiveness had happened, but not reconciliation. And it was going to take honesty to get reconciliation. So I did one of the scariest things in my life and got really honest. And God was so gracious to facilitate reconciliation. A few days later, I dug out the broken pieces of the figurine and carefully superglued them back together.

    I value it more after having taken the time to fix it, just as I now value that friendship even more.