Elizabeth and Abby received four new boxes of crayons for Christmas. There are many things that I enjoy about life, and a brand new box of crayons is one of them. There is just something comforting about opening a new box that has nice, neat, unmarred, pointy crayons, with the paper intact, that brings a smile to my face.
At our home, we keep all of our crayons in one of those old butter cookie tins (the blue one...you know which kind I'm talking about, right?) because it's easier to contain them all in that than for me to order each box by color every time the girls use them. As I was dumping all of the new, happy, perfectly good crayons into the tin, I thought "I'm going to use this opportunity to get rid of the broken crayons!" They are such an eyesore when you open the tin and they tend to get scattered, somehow, all over the house. And who really needs more than 200 crayons and crayon bits, anyway?
Immediately after that thought, another thought gently spoke to my heart: "The broken ones are still useful." And so I, not wanting to throw away things that are still useful, sighed and put the broken ones back in the tub, and carried on with my day.
As I pondered why in the entire world I was prompted to seemingly keep the broken crayons, I was also in the middle of reading a book called 'Open Heart, Open Home'. I've read it many times before, and it is a favorite of mine. It is about how to provide hospitality to a world full of people who are hurting. Who are broken. Kind of like those crayons I considered tossing.
You know the kind of people I'm talking about. Chances are, whether or not you would admit, you are the kind of person I'm talking about. Like crayons, people get overworked, broken and misused. Sometimes they've been dulled by strain and overuse, and no one around will take time to sharpen them. Sometimes the outside layers get torn and no one is around to tape them up. Some people are mishandled, physically or emotionally, and they break in two.
But, friends, the broken ones are still useful. How many 'broken crayons' do you know? If you know me, and I'm quite sure you do, you are friends with at least one broken crayon. Look around. Your life is full of them, I'll bet. But, the broken ones are still useful!
Broken crayons are excellent for those rubby drawings - you know when you lay the crayon on its side and use it for a leaf or stone rubbing? They're also good to melt down to make a brand new crayon. Sometimes all you have to do is sharpen it a bit or wrap it in scotch tape to make it whole again.
Broken people are just as beautiful and just as useful (and oftentimes moreso) than people who (seem to) have it all together. My friend, the Bible is rich with stories of broken people whom God used mightily. Look them up!
Take some time to invest in the 'broken crayons' around you. Pick up the phone. Write a letter. Send a note on Facebook. Or, better yet, go see them in person if you can. God tells us to encourage one another and to love one another, even and especially in times of brokeness. Remind your husband, wife, children, parents, brothers, sisters, extended family, best friends, coworkers, and everyone you know that is experiencing the pain of being broken right now that they are still useful, indeed, and that the God who made them can restore them!
And if you are the broken crayon that I'm talking about, let me just remind you, from one who has been broken (and whom God has had to tape back together many times!), that you are a treasure - even in your brokeness. Whether you are hurting physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally, God has so much in store for you. He made you with a purpose and you are not alone in your brokeness. I'm praying for you tonight, that you would know how unique and useful you are and how very much you are loved!!
for His glory!
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