Sea Glass Conversations [a poem]


Along the crook of where ocean meets land
I find myself walking over sea glass;
treasured gems in reverse,
not found in nature and refined by man
   but having been discarded by man
   has been refined by nature

I pick up a piece and ask it a number of questions.

What onslaughts have you withstood
to become so smooth and beautiful?

How many times did you wonder
if all the ocean's tumbling was worth
this beauty you could not have seen
   along the way?

Where did you gather strength
to endure years pitched about
   after being pitched out?

What does the voice of God sound like...

when it bores through self-hatred
and burnishes your broken edges?

How did you stay strong without fracture?
How did you patiently await the vision
   of what you would become?

I slip the gem into my pocket
and I can hear it look me in the heart to say,
"I have al the same questions for you?"

When I am not weak enough

1 Corinthians 9, verse 22 says: "To the weak I become weak, so that I might win the weak."

One reason I struggle so much to reach out to the hurting, broken, and weak around me is because I have not rightfully understood this passage. In attempts to reach out to the poor and weak, I commonly end up taking the stance: "Let me be strong for you. Let me reach out to you and be strong in your weakness. Let me be put-together where you are broken." This is how I have thought it should be for so long.

The problem with that approach, of course, is putting myself in God's role. God's role is to be strong in my weakness and put-together in my brokenness.

My job is to be weak to the weak and broken to the broken. This is how I am to reach the weak and broken.

It is not my job to be God. It is my job to be weak to the weak and broken to the broken and allow God to be strong where we are weak and put-together where we are broken.