“Thank you for sharing your fine china, sister.”
When I was younger my mother would take me to thrift stores. I’ve always been fascinated with them, the aisles on aisles of things left behind and forgotten, the shelves full of lost things.
My favorite items in these stores were plates and cups. The way they were all created differently but had a similar purpose, to be used and to help us. I would find myself running fingers along the edges of plates and staring through the tops of cups and mugs, trying to lose myself in the curves and designs. The finer the china, the most I was enamored with it.
There was one cup I remember most. It was small and white, with dark green foliage wrapping around the base and sides of the cup. The handle was broken in half, but the cup still looked perfect. I don’t know what it was about that cup, but it look like it was suppose to be that way. I didn’t think less of the cup because it was broken, I didn’t think I would hide this china away either– keeping it safe until a special time.
Sometimes, I think our walks with God resemble the hiding away of fine china.
I met with my spiritual mentor yesterday. It was our first meeting, we were still in that awkward ‘getting to know you’ stage. I opened up way more than I was expecting to. But why is that so? Why was I going into this intentional time already prepared to filter the way that I appear? We should not be afraid of our broken handles.
So I met with her. And I told her about all the darkness that lies in the corners of my life, I opened up about the deepest of struggles– some that I haven’t even told those around me I’m dealing with.
We can’t live hiding away all the fine china of our lives. We need to open up the cupboards, bring out the plates and cups and teapots– regardless of the chips, scratches, and broken handles– and share them around the table with our friends and fellow brothers and sisters.
I’m going to say it again: we should not be afraid of our broken handles.
Sometimes I wonder why God gave me the battles that he gave me: why I grew up in the household I did, the struggle I have with food, my issues with control. I wonder why I had all the cracks in my handles that led it to breaking. But really, those things aren’t the most important thing. They aren’t the foliage on the side of my mug. They are just the rugged edge of the broken handle.
My foliage is dense and lush. It decorates me in a way that is unique: I am a musician and actress, I love heart to hearts with people, I write because sometimes the words won’t come out, and I enjoy warm coffee every day. It decorates me in ways that unite me with others: I am a daughter and a sister, I am a child of God, and I have a heart for youth ministry.
We can’t hide our fine china away. We need to share it, we need to share our brokenness with others. You need to know you are not alone. I promise you, you aren’t alone.