This “Little Bit of Grace” moment happened a couple of months ago. It took me a little while to write about it and share. I’m still amazed each time how God uses ordinary life moments to speak wonderful little bits of truth and grace to us. It encourages me so much. This particular moment reminded me of what real love looks like–broken toy love in this instance. =) I hope that it encourages you also.
Broken Toy Love
Today I was driving back from the grocery store with Gracie and I noticed that she was playing with a broken toy. It was a miniature Toothless, the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon that has a wing broken off of it. She’s had it for a while now, and I was thinking it might be time to toss it in the trash. I mentioned this idea to her, that maybe it was time to throw it away, especially since she had another one that was just fine. She said, “Oh mommy, I still love it. It’s like how God is with us. He still loves us, even though we are broken.” I was defeated. I’m not sure if she had a genuine insightful moment or if she was using her gift of insight to manipulate me. Either way, she had me there. What was I supposed to say then? In my mind I could see the mounds of broken toys collecting in my house–piles and piles of little representatives of God’s love! My daughter, toy savior of the world. In all seriousness though, it is pretty awesome that God actually does loves us this way. Just like Gracie looks at her broken toy with love, God looks at our broken hearts and bodies with love. She doesn’t see brokenness at all and neither does God because the toy is hers and we are His. When you belong to Jesus, He sees His Son when He sees you. That is pretty spectacular don’t you think? I never grow weary in my need to hear the good news the Gospel brings.
I long to live in a world where people love each other the same way Gracie loves her broken toys. We tend to avoid brokenness. We like happiness and perfection and it pleases us to be around it. If someone is broken, most of the time we would rather distance ourselves from them. If I just completely “freak out” right in front of you, you will probably want to avoid me the next time you see me. You may want to avoid me forever! I would have revealed the brokenness in my heart in a big way and that would make me a lot less easy to love. If I go through something really terrible and it’s difficult to talk about, you might start to avoid me too. Brokenness in the world makes us uncomfortable, and we don’t like to be uncomfortable, so we put our comfort ahead of love. Of course, love is being willing to make yourself uncomfortable for the sake of another. The kind of blind love Gracie has for her little broken toy is so rare to find from person to person. I guess this is why Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:35) The kind of love Jesus has, the kind of love God has, is so radical that it will actually tell some one that you are His if they see you love the way He loves. He loves the undesirables, the messed up, the outcast, the thief, the diseased, the sinners, the broken people. He loves us! We are all broken. We are to love one another not based on who we are, but based on who He is. I am convicted every single time I am reminded of this truth. It does not come easily at times. I read something last week that I didn’t know would relate to this, but it’s a statement made by Corrie ten Boom. She said this: “When Jesus requires that we love our enemies [or broken people], He gives us the love He demands from us. We are channels of His love, not reservoirs.” The best definition I found for channel was “a route through which anything passes or progresses.” God’s love passes through us to the person for whom it is intended. What a wonderful image! What a relief! It is His love, not ours. He is able.
I’m still going to work on getting rid of all the broken toys, eventually. That kind of clutter makes me crazy! I am eternally grateful that God does not get rid of us, but instead He repairs us and makes us like new again in Christ. Someday He will make all things new! (Rev 21:5) In the mean time, “He still loves us, even though we are broken.” May we have broken toy love too!