Janet Roller - Living Oak Ministries

My photo
Hi. I'm Janet Roller: wife of one, mother of two, lover of coffee and writer of songs. I have just finished my first fiction novel and I'm looking forward to watching how God uses the simple story to minister to others. God is a big deal to me. My goal each day is to wake up and declare, "This day is Yours, Lord. Show me what to do with it."

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Live on Display

Living on display comes with consequence. The year I was Miss South Carolina, I received many interesting gifts. Some were savable and others – not so much. I kept all the special items in their original packaging in the basement. One treasure was a limited edition plate I received at the 100th Anniversary of Pepsi. I know, wow. I decided it would be better to enjoy my “pretties”, so I took the plate out of its perfectly fitted blue box and bought a special gold rack for it.

For years, it remained unharmed, safely nestled on the wall. Today, however, I heard the sound that can only be breaking glass – not like a drinking glass or window; the dull thud of china echoing as it hits ceramic.

I hurried around the corner to find my prized piece broken beyond repair. The once smiling woman on the simple print was now beheaded and shattered.

A flood of emotions filled me. I wanted to comfort the guilty plate breaker by saying it didn’t matter because it was an accident. But it did matter. I felt angry. I felt like something that meant so much to me was taken.

My internal dialogue raced as I searched for a response.
I guess I can’t have anything.
IF it was yours you would have been more careful.
I never should have taken it out of the box.

In an effort not to respond at all, I turned and walked to my room and did what every spiritually mature woman in her 30’s should do – I slammed the door.

Stewing and sifting through the next emotions, the sound of sweeping and a dustpan dumping the shards into a trashcan pierced my ear. With each piece clanging against the other, my heart ached as the piece seemed to break all over again.

When the kitchen was cleared, I walked out to see the broken pieces lying on top of tea bags, chicken bones and coffee grounds. I left them there for a while. Then God began to speak. People may not see the value in brokenness but God does.

Carefully I brought each piece from the trash and placed the collection on the counter. After a few minutes, all pieces were together except one – the woman’s face. Careful not to shift any wet paper towels, I went back to the trashcan to retrieve the missing piece. There she was – lying face town in a heap of trash. Now with all the pieces were in place, with new cracks of character, the once perfect prize seemed better with the cracks.

We can be like that plate. We keep ourselves protected for so many years so no one can hurt us. When we finally put ourselves “out there,” the possibility of getting injured, hurt or disappointed is inevitable. When we do, we have a choice. Do we stay in the scrap pile or do we allow God to piece us back together?

Friends, God’s Word said we were made for display, cracks and all. Our imperfections and spiritual scars only make our relationship with Christ more precious. He is perfect – so we don’t have to be. HIS scars have made a Way for us to receive righteousness.

Christians tend to hide behind their Sunday morning smiles and pretend all is well when they are shattered inside. It’s time to get real with each other and serve with transparency. The times I’ve been reliant on God enough to share with my fellow believers about what I’m struggling with have been times of refreshing and healing for all involved.

Isaiah 61:3 tells us “He will give a crown of beauty instead of ashes, oil of joy for mourning and a garment of praise for a spirit of despair.” Many of us want the crown, joy and praise without the ashes, mourning and despair. Suffering-free lives don’t exist on this side of Heaven – but redemption for sin does. Isaiah goes on to say, “so we may be Oaks of Righteousness on display for His glory.”

We don’t endure hardships for our benefit. We endure through Christ to build our testimony of His Grace toward us.

No matter what your past includes, live on display for His glory. Your cracks and imperfections may bring healing to someone else. We are all in this life together to bring God glory.

Live on display.

No comments: