The Broken Plate

How many of us have grandchildren? How many of us thought it would be easy compared to raising our own children? Why? Because it is. But it isn’t! It’s easy because our grandchildren are not our complete responsibility. But it isn’t because we have so much of our heart invested in their lives. We hurt deeply when they hurt. We rejoice greatly when they rejoice. And we watch them grow up way toooo fast, wanting all the best that God has for them. We have wisdom we never had as parents, and yet we have to keep quiet with a lot of that wisdom if we want to be allowed to spend time with them. But boy, is it hard to keep our mouths shut!

I have a friend who recently was able to spend a weekend with her granddaughter. She was so happy to have this time with such a precious young girl. My friend was hoping for some conversation that would allow them to delve a bit deeper into some hurt that was going on in her granddaughter’s life. But just how to do that? She bided her time, and then God gave her an amazing opportunity to speak into her heart. It came at the cost of a broken plate that belonged to her great grandmother, but it was well worth it for the heart of her young granddaughter.

As the weekend played out, my friend discovered a plate had been broken. But nothing had been said. She didn’t want to make a big deal out if it, but she also didn’t want to just leave it without talking about it. She wondered how best to bring it up, and then God opened the door. Her granddaughter asked her, “Is there anything I can do?” And it seemed the perfect opportunity to ask her to go and get the broken plate and bring it to her so they could repair it together. As they sat gluing the pieces back together, they were able to have the talk she so longed for with her granddaughter. They talked about how when things are broken, we don’t just leave them that way. We work on fixing them. She expressed to her how much more important her granddaughter was to her than any plate, no matter how valuable it was. The broken plate was a bonding time between them—one that will probably be remembered for the rest of their lives. The day will come when my friend is gone from this earth, and her things are being distributed among family members. I can picture her granddaughter not wanting much. But when the plate is brought out, she may ask for it, while everyone wonders why she would want an old broken plate with yellowing glue stains between the cracks. She will remember the day her grandmother made her feel so valued and cared for.

Searching And Noticing the Divine can be like that. God doesn’t want us to remain broken. He longs to heal us from the inside out. He wants us to search our hearts, notice our need of Him, and let His Divine nature fill us with His love and assurance that we are valuable to Him—so valuable that He sent His One and only Son to earth on our behalf. Our Father wants to rescue us out of our brokenness, bond with us during that time, and let us know we are His most cherished possession.

On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him.”
Malachi 3:17 (NIV)