Jesus came to heal the sick and care for the broken. Everyone needs him because of brokenness. I have been taught this in Sunday School since I was a little girl, and I know in more mature terms that this is the truth I hold onto in my faith today. Jesus makes us whole. He says to come to him and he will give us rest. He is God of the broken.
Just recently in my ministry here, brokenness has been staring me hard in the face. I am involved with 2 women’s Bible studies right now, and it has occurred to me that almost every single woman has been broken by relationships. I won’t use names, but let me share a glimpse with you of some of these women’s stories.
a woman whose husband left her and she has been left to raise their only child. Though the father is part of the child’s life, he is not a Christian and it tears the woman apart to think of how this broken relationship affects her daughter and what it will do to her daughter’s faith.
a woman whose husband refuses to participate in anything having to do with the church. In the last month he has squandered the little money that they make and has chosen to drink himself to oblivion two times in one of the local bars. The first time he was kicked out of the home and told to not come back until he had sorted his irresponsible behavior out (there are 3 children involved). After returning and then doing it a second time, he found himself in the hospital with knife wounds from a fight in the bar.
a woman who is separated from her husband and gets absolutely no support from him. She is brand new to her community and has moved here with a thirteen-year-old son who is going through a rebellious time. He hates school, doesn’t socialize, and disrespects his mother. She is about to start a job that lasts from 7 am to 5 pm. She yearns for her son to have positive male role models.
a woman who gave birth out of wedlock at the age of 15. That child is around my age, and she now has a 2-year-old. She is separated from the two-year-old’s father, but he comes around frequently, and when he does, he is physically abusive to her. She is going through a very hard time economically and emotionally, and she has noticed her young son’s aggressive behavior toward other children. She admits that he has witnessed his father beating her, and he is acting on what he has observed.
a woman who was forced to marry at a young age because the husband promised to give financial support to her family. He was significantly older and treated her horribly. He fathered her 2 children and then left for another woman. The woman has worked various jobs to make ends meet as a single mother for her entire life. She has a lot of bitterness toward her family for allowing this cruelty to happen, because they understood what was going on.
I don’t know about you, but I am speechless in some of these situations. These are the people that we work with. Some of the above are Christians, but some have never experienced a relationship with Christ. Sometimes I ask myself what in the world I am doing trying to minister to these women. Because of life circumstances, they have wisdom way beyond my years. I have never had to deal with such tragedy in the relationships in my life. I realize that this is a blessing and that I have been surrounded by Christians serious about their call to be Christ-like in how they treat me. I also realize that I have something to offer these women. I know the God of the broken. I know how important my relationship is to him. I know that he came to save me and them, and that he desires nothing more than to heal their brokenness if they come to him.
As I mentioned, some of these women are Christians, and I am proud to say that I am so encouraged by their wisdom and desire to follow after Christ whole-heartedly despite the hurt in their past and present. I am also ministering beside these godly sisters to bring salvation to those friends around them that are hurting. Will it happen over night? Absolutely not. But God has given me courage to share his story of redemption, his story of healing the broken with these non-Christians. Thank you for supporting our ministry here, and pray for the many lives God is able to touch through us.
Father, I pray that you give me wisdom to preach good news. May my life be a proclamation of what you sent Jesus to do.