from the pen of Jeff Joyner
One day, my mother brought home a vintage clock that she purchased from a local antique store. Even though she had no idea where to put it, she felt compelled to buy it, since it appeared to be in good, working order. When I first saw it, I couldn’t figure out why she bought it. It looked to me like it was worn out, and had already served it’s purpose. It would also require one of us to wind it up every day with a key, just for it to be useful. All that didn’t seem to matter to my mother, and she proceeded to have my dad make a shelf, to display this worn out relic from the past.
For the next couple of years, we would all take turns, winding up the clock, and resetting the time, just to keep it going. In spite of our best efforts, there were still times, where the clock would remain motionless for days, due to the fact that we were all occupied with other activities. One day, I noticed the clock had stopped, and got the key as usual, to wind it back up. As I was turning the key, the spring mechanism gave way, causing it to spin in the opposite direction. Not only did this render the key completely useless, but the hands eventually came off as well. My mother finally acknowledged that the clock was broken.
Even though it was broken, the clock still remained on the shelve for the next couple of years. Then one day, my mother got an idea. As a gifted artist, who had painted many portraits and landscapes, she decided that she would use the clock as a canvas, to paint a picture that would last, well beyond it’s inner mechanisms. When she was through, it was clear that a new purpose for a broken and lifeless clock had emerged.
As you can see in this old picture, the clock is proudly displayed behind me.
And though it’s original purpose was shattered by brokenness, a new beauty has been brought to life, which has lasted for several years. As I think back on this experience, it’s obvious to me, that in the same manner, God uses our brokenness, to bring to life His pictures of beauty in and through us. And yet, the pictures that he paints will last for more than just a few years. They will in fact, last for all eternity.
“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalms 34:18