It’s Saturday night after an eight-hour day of rehearsal. The church Christmas Musical for this year is called Winterland: The Quest for Christmas. Two months out, I’m already feeling crunched for time. But that’s not what’s on my mind.

I’m preaching tomorrow. My topic is brokenness. At least I relate to it.

Brokenness is common. In fact, it is ubiquitous. People mean different things by “brokenness.” I tend to lump it all together by saying that brokenness is a profound realization and acceptance of the great wrongness of things. My personal brokenness may relate to circumstances beyond my control, or disappointment with some aspect of my life (career, marriage, family, education, love), or my own depravity, but still it is an awareness of the wrongness of things. And not things out there, but things in here, inside.

We run from this brokenness. We don’t want to look at it, acknowledge it, or live with it. Now, I am no longer a fan of endless brooding over our failures and weaknesses. That’s not my point. My one point is that we are all in the same boat. Sin is real, evil is real, and my brokenness cannot be denied. I could tell so many stories. Too, too many.

Is this what the cross means? To walk head-long into our brokenness, denying nothing, keeping nothing back, but full bore confession of our lives? Artistry is confessional by nature. It’s truth-telling is constructed from personal lives. I’m convinced we don’t really want to carry our secret selves in secret. We want to be known. Art is one of the more convenient ways to get at the truth of our lives without spilling lurid details all over the people we love.

I can’t articulate it yet, but I think our entering into brokenness is near the path of freedom. When we come to the truth of our lives we can’t avoid, our hand is on the handle of the door to freedom. If we back away from the pain that comes with our brokenness, then we forfeit growth and freedom and wisdom, and in the end, forfeit the chance of every finding ourselves and our God.

I can’t say what’s in my heart to say…

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