Serving The Broken : Are we not ALL Broken?

We are all broken. We are all not perfect. No-one can claim to have it all together. We all have some sort of weakness within us or we are facing some sort of life challenge. Has there ever been a time that you were so low that you felt there was no hope and you could not go on any further. Some people might want to say that it has never happened, but I beg to differ.

There are actually two kinds of people in our culture.

  1. Those who are broken and don’t know it or won’t admit it.
  2. Those who are broken and do know it.

There are no unbroken people. Of this fact, Scripture is quite clear. It may help for me to define what brokenness is all about. We’re all broken because of sin. Acknowledgement of our brokenness is the only way to get started healing.

Here’s the problem. We don’t like to talk about our brokenness. It’s painful. It’s awkward. It opens us up to judgment and criticism. If we start a conversation about it, things will get… messy. As a man particularly, I found it very difficult to admit that I am broken inside. And I was.

What I have found as I have tried to maneuver through the challenges within myself and within my marriage is that people are generally not honest about their brokenness and the “real”issues that they face. Friends, family and people I know always want to give a positive impression about their state and the status of their marriage or general relationships, or pretend or give an image that doesn’t fit their reality. Meanwhile, back at the ranch people are quietly struggling with a whole host of issues within themselves and within their homes. In fact as I struggled through understanding how to deal with my heart, my mind and my spirit and also my marital issues I started thinking that I was a mad person, or maybe my wife was.

Its only when I was truly honest and open with myself (Coming to myself), my wife and those few that came through to try and help in our situation that I started getting real advice about possible solutions to my challenges. It also required me to let go of pride and actually ask for help.Ultimately, I actually really needed God, but God works through many people, sometimes unexpected.

You see when we start talking about our brokenness and sharing authentically about our struggles, suddenly people start showing up, and they aren’t all the neatly packaged perfect people we’d prefer. And they’ll bring their friends. I keep praying for those many people that have shown up to help me in my broken state. Some stuck around, others didn’t, but all the same the help came when it was desperately needed and it is the reason why my marriage is still standing today 10 years later.

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.  Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”   Romans 12:9-13

Social work in my opinion, is one of the most unappreciated works that is within our communities. My wife told me about the times when she worked in psychiatric wards helping mentally ill and broken people in her younger days. One of the many things I love and appreciate about social work is that its a calling that entrusts you to walk alongside families during the most difficult and vulnerable times in their lives. It’s work that God could do without us but God still allows us to be a part of it. Social workers show up when abuse is occurring, when violence is erupting, and when homes are dirty. They are asked to meet with families during times of loss, adoption, school problems, divorce, addictions, trauma, and relationship problems. They get to hear stories, play with kids, sit in meetings, solve problems, and see people heal and get well. In my opinion, this is the work that we ALL should be doing for our families, friends and colleagues. There are not enough social workers out there to help solve the amount of problems that people are going through out there

Phillipians 2:1-11 “So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, …

I just wonder, if the many times I faced challenges and was broken, noone showed up. What would have happened to me? What would have happened to my marriage? What would have been the outcome? How would I have turned out.

I pray that we all would be intentional about stepping out of the comfort of our own lives so that we can see what’s really going on around us. I ask that God would give us the eyes to see and the ears to hear what needs to be brought to light in our communities. I pray that we will ask those hard questions and be bold enough to invest in personal relationships with others.

Remember , Serving others gives you purpose.  Serving others gives you more joy. Serving others reduces stress. Serving others leads to a longer life. Serving others connects you to others. Serving others shows you what following Jesus is about. Serving others allows you to join in what God is doing. Serving others gives you an avenue to use your gifts. Serving gets your focus off yourself. Serving others teaches you humility. Serving others allows you to make a true difference in another person’s life. Serving others advances the Kingdom of God.

Wilbert Frank Chaniwa

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