Russell and Duenes

the brokenness overwhelms me

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The brokenness overwhelms me. “The human heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick. Who can understand it?” Such a broken humanity. Cain kills his brother out of envy. Moses murders an Egyptian and then has his Hebrew brethren despise him and threaten to rat him out. David commits adultery, deception and murder. He satanically decides to count the people. The wise and broken Solomon takes 900 women to himself and falls off into idolatry. Rachel lashes out in her infertility. Samson acts the fool. Hezekiah weeps bitterly because he doesn’t want to die. Jacob tricks his father. Peter disowns Jesus, and Demas deserts Paul. Sinners lay their hands on the sinless Son of God and brutally mock and mercilessly execute him.

People drown themselves in alcohol, and then their children do the same. Boys shoot other boys for a pair of shoes. Young girls give their virginity away and are discarded like a used rag. Sports heroes destroy themselves with steroids for fleeting fame. People hack their neighbors to death with machetes. Parents weep over children who’ve gone astray. People cut themselves just so they can feel something, anything. People of “faith” molest, murder and destroy in the name of God. Young boys shoot their classmates and then turn the guns on themselves. A man accidentally runs over his child while backing out of his driveway. The effeminate kid at school gets mercilessly bullied, hounded and trashed. He contemplates suicide. Men go “cruising” for other men. Whole African tribes walk dozens of miles each night just to find a safe place to sleep away from warlords. Executives at Enron ruthlessly lie and cheat a company into the ground, destroying countless lives in the process, dashing families to despair. We worship at the fount of pop music in our search of meaning and purpose. A man works himself to death while the months turn into years and his children don’t know him. We desperately strive to “fit in,” putting up fronts and hiding who we really are. Add to this murder, gossip, rape, sexual perversion, arson, panic, depression, insomnia, schizophrenia, laziness, adultery, cheating, eating disorders, revenge, divorce, bipolar disorder, euthanasia, emotional and physical abuse, phobias, stubbornness, loneliness, stress, hypocrisy, infanticide, hard-heartedness, anger, racism, unforgiveness, greed and lust, and we get a small taste of our brokenness. Not to mention people whose lives and the lives of their loved ones are swept away in car accidents, plane crashes, tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, terrorist actions, drowning and disease. We see, but we don’t see, the brokenness that’s left behind, our lives undone.

What of me? Fear, anxieties, sexual brokenness, eating because I’m bored, pride, contempt for others in thought, word and deed, regret, covetousness, shame, selfishness, pain, anger, self-justification, prayerlessness and indifference to God and to others, to name just a few. It makes me think of the words of singer/ songwriter, Michael Card,

In any split second of a moment of time, in the blink that is one single day; the sum of the sorrow that wraps ‘round the world, could catch every soul up and sweep them away. As vast as the ocean, as deep as the sea, swept up in one toxic tide; by the warm salty waves the world weeps its woe. So how could it be that my own eyes are dry?

I sit with a friend whose heart is broken. I feel like I’ve been punched in the gut. All is turmoil, confusion, restlessness, fear and tears. I cry out in my soul, “My God! My God! Have mercy!” I search for words, for articulations, for replies; but there’s nothing, nothing that I control, nothing I can do or undo in my own power. I’m thrown upon God. “All your waves and breakers have crashed over me…My tears have been my food day and night while they say to me continually, all day long: ‘Where is your God?’…My soul is full of troubles, and my life draws near to Sheol. I am counted among those who go down to the pit…You have caused my companions to shun me; you have made me a horror to them. I am shut in so that I cannot escape; my eye grows dim through sorrow…My heart throbs, my strength fails me, and the light of my eyes, even that has gone from me…I am feeble and crushed; I groan because of the tumult of my heart…The whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth together until now…and even we ourselves, who have the first-fruits of the Spirit, even we groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as God’s children.”

Such brokenness could be an illusion, a meaningless mass of chemical activity in a godless universe. Or it could be the evidence that something has gone terribly wrong, and our only hope is to cast ourselves upon the God “who is love,” the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. In His strength, we can move into our broken and shattered lives; we can have that love that “bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things,” we can have mercy and forgiveness to and from each other, we can find “grace to help in time of need.” Heal us, O Lord, and we shall be healed; save us, and we shall be saved. For Thou art my praise.



Written by Michael Duenes

November 15, 2009 at 10:35 pm

Posted in Duenes, Reflections

One Response

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  1. Amen. The One who is love is especially fond of you, I hear.


    November 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm

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