Move Over, Make Room for the Broken

I used to position myself at the end of the pew, just in case someone I’m not too comfortable with might come along and try to sit down.

It saved us both that awkward conversation where they ask if they can join me and I say “yes” with my mouth but “no” with my body language.

Frankly, I was at church to be lifted up so I could face the coming week with power and strength. I didn’t want to be dragged down by their reality of brokenness and sometimes bitter tears.

I don’t do that anymore.

I realize that most of what made me uncomfortable was other people’s pain.

Now I’m the one who’s broken.  I’m the one who can’t get through “Amazing Grace” without blubbering.

And I’m the one that others hope won’t ask to join THEM.

But here’s the deal:  God loves the broken.  Christ came for the broken.  It’s the broken and breathless who long for the Spirit to blow life across their wounded hearts.

It’s the hopeless and fearful that run faster to the safety of their Shepherd.

It’s the worried and weary who are thankful for a Burden-bearer.

When I refuse to move over and make room for the broken, I’m barring the way for the very ones who most desperately need the blessing.  When I want my worship experience to exclude those who haven’t the strength to bring their own hearts before the throne of grace, I’m being selfish.  

And that is sin.

Jesus went out of His way to heal the hurting,

to bless the broken and

to speak strength to the weary.

So now I sit in the middle of the pew and leave room for whoever God brings my way.

I want to be an open door, not a gatekeeper.

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” ~Jesus

(Matthew 11:28-30 PHILLIPS)

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

7 thoughts on “Move Over, Make Room for the Broken”

  1. A word of caution, be prepared when you sit in the middle of the pew in hope that someone, anyone, will sit next to you that you may find yourself all alone. I did this for many months and only one person ever sat next to me. My daughter’s best friend. Some would wave or say hello if accidentally making eye contact with me or had to face me for the offering of Peace and shake hands. Everyone knew my family and that my young daughter had died. Her sister chose to live out of state after this death, and her brothers are older and have lived away for a couple years so were also not close by. I am long time divorced and had raised the kids myself as their estranged father had no interest and chose to live out of state. I attended church and everything else suddenly alone. Before my daughter left this earth we were always included, joined, sat next to, conversed with, etc.. But after she died, after her funeral that everyone did attend and her friends and classmates all had a part in her funeral, after all that, I was treated like an alien or leper. I understand that it was not me, but them and their own fear of what happened to my precious daughter could happen to their child, or that I may start to cry, or that they have nothing left in common with me and fear they will make me cry to talk about their own children and their forward moving lives. After I and my kids had been a big part of this parish family and the adjoining school for twenty some years (14 for my angel daughter) I have not been back there now in almost two years because of this. It affected me profoundly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so very sorry…that is awful. But you are right-it reflects their fears, not your worthiness. People are so afraid of facing pain in the lives of others that they will avoid it at all costs-even when it inflicts MORE pain on the hurting. That’s kind of my point-I will no longer avoid those in pain because I know how it feels to be avoided. I pray that you have found at least a small community of loving friends who choose to walk with you instead of avoiding you. My circle is much smaller now, but it is also much closer and companionable. May the Lord overwhelm your heart with His love, grace and mercy and may He strengthen you for every single day in this long journey.


    2. Dee2, My heart goes out to you that you would be made to feel this way! People can be hurtful, even those within the church. This misses the mark as Jesus instructed his followers to love one another and to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2). I pray that you have found a solid church home where truth is spoken in love and where the body builds each other up. If not, I would encourage you ask God to direct you to a solid bible believing church in your area.

      Liked by 1 person

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