Lenten Writings: In a Place of Brokenness

The following poem was written last year.  I wrote it during the season of Lent, and I wrote it because I was taking some very hard steps on a very long journey of letting go.  When you reach certain stages of life part of what you discover (or at least what I’ve discovered) is that in order to keep living life with any kind of joy, enthusiasm, spirit, or energy then there are things that you have to release.  They are things that you may have kept for many years or things you’ve recently allowed to be part of what you carry and choose to own or claim. Regardless of how long you’ve been holding them, there comes a point when you are faced with the decision of holding them or releasing them.

And, so, I found myself with several of these.  When I finished seminary in December, 2015, I knew that 2016 would be the year that I had to do examine these parts of my life.  I’d put them off and carefully kept them at a safe distance or boxed them up and shoved them in the far corners of the basement of my being.  But, now they demanded my attention.  Each of these things deserved that attention and thoughtful consideration.  They were part of my life, thus they deserved to either be carried on with a different kind of care or they deserved to be released to end their existence in peace.

Either way, it was time to sit with each of these things and listen to what they had to say and what they had to teach me.  With many tears, much prayer, and with great care, that is what I tried to do with these precious but difficult pieces of my life.

The season of Lent last year was the beginning of that journey.  The season of Lent this year has been one of renewal of spirit and care of body in order to move on to the next places and the next experiences that could only be fully embraced and lived as a result of what God called to my attention, what Christ sat through with me, and what the Holy Spirit now gives me the peace and hope to embrace next.

My hope for you is that these words might give you something–hope, encouragement, permission, awareness–whatever you might need to follow the path that is yours to accept.

I wish you peace…

Let Your Heart be Rent

Break my heart into a thousand pieces

Let them fall out of me onto the floor

And lay there in their brokenness.

Let me touch each one of the shards

That will cut me if I do not handle them with great care–with the care they deserve– As they were once something that held and guarded things dear to me.

Break my heart so that I feel the pain in every cell

Let me hear the cries of each part of me

As the pain reaches it and sits there

Knowing that it will not stay

But it knows that I must feel the pain of brokenness

In ways I now choose to accept.


Break my heart and let me mourn the loss of what once was

But can no longer be,

What was held cannot draw breath if I am to live

What has been shattered will be washed away with tears of grief,

Cleansing drops that have the power to move what is within

to the place where death takes it once and for all.


Break my heart if that is what it takes to make me whole.

If death to self is what must be done

Then do it now.

I only ask that as I allow this brokenness to overtake me

That You be with me, as I cannot do this alone.

I trust that You will hold the pieces with me

That You will give me peace to let them go.

I trust that You will wipe the tears away

That You will bless all as it is surrendered to the dust.

I trust that You will take what’s left of my dust

And form it into the being You meant me to be all along.


2 thoughts on “Lenten Writings: In a Place of Brokenness

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