What is bruised and bent, he will not break; he will not blow out a smoldering candle. – Isaiah 42:3
Imagine walking through your yard.
You see a young tree you planted with a broken limb, barely hanging on.
Spontaneously you finish the job, without thinking ripping the limb completely off.
Imagine the final little flame on the stick that is giving you light, faintly flickering and about to die.
In frustration you reach out with your finger and snuff the final life out of it.
Sometimes we give up on the bruised, the bent, the broken too quickly.
The ones who have been damaged, hurt, misused maybe by their own hand maybe by the hands of others.
Our solution to the deficiencies is to cut it off, put it out, do away with it, move on.
Sometimes we only see the damage, the shortcoming in others, the failure to measure up to our expectations.
God sees an opportunity.
Instead of breaking off the damaged limb He sees the opportunity to heal it and make it stronger.
Instead of distinguishing the tiny flame he sees an opportunity to fan it into a fire that burns strong and bright.
Instead of discarding the broken he tenderly gathers them and his arms and puts them back together.
In a parable a gardener asks Him to spare the tree that would not produce a little longer, God grants the request showing a willingness to give another chance.
Sometimes I am the bent bruised and broken and need of my father’s tender care.
Sometimes I am the tiny spark that needs to be fanned into a flame.
Sometimes I am the tree that does not bear fruit.
As I walk through this world of bruised and broken people, those whose fire is about to go out, I must remember
“And so were some of you,”
But God (Ephesians 2)
Because I have received grace to sustain me in my brokenness, when my flame burns low, I am called to be an advocate, not a judge for those who are in need.