Sitting with the Broken
by Kristan Dooley
June 02nd, 2016

Jesus has a plan for us in the brokenness of others, but His plan will not be walked out in our strengths. It will be walked out in our weaknesses.  In our weakness it will stay about Jesus because we are not the redeemers of the broken, He is.

2 Corinthians 12:19,"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."

He gets all the glory when He uses broken people to heal broken people. Letting Him do the work frees us up to sit with the broken, rather than stand over them trying to figure out where the broken pieces fit.

We were created to be broken and we were created to love, sit and walk with broken people. It’s why we do things like mission trips and come back saying, “They blessed me more than I blessed them.” Because the Kingdom of God is an upside-down Kingdom. We don’t receive from our strength, we receive from weakness. The more I am aware of my own brokenness, the easier it is to sit with others in their brokenness.

It’s the story of Job. Job was a wealthy, God-fearing man who had everything and lost everything in one single day. From the loss of his family to the loss of his health, Job continued to worship God in the midst of brokenness. Even Job’s wife begged her husband to “curse God and die.” Brokenhearted, Job sat down and took a shivah. “Sitting Shivah” was a Jewish custom for mourning. Shivah was their opportunity to weep, wail and mourn over their lost.

Job was “sitting shivah” when his concerned friends came to visit him. At first Job’s friends responded in sympathy as they sat down next to their hurting friend and said nothing for seven full days (seven days is the amount of time set aside for shivah.) It’s what happened after those seven days that messed things up.

After seven days, Job’s friends stood up and started finger pointing and fixing. They accused Job of being the problem. They stepped in and took on the role of God in the rebuilding of their friend and they actually caused more grief than their friend was already dealing with.

Our inability to sit with the broken is on us. When I can’t sit beside the hurting it’s because I’m looking down at them. With my eyes on them instead of Jesus, I struggle to love because we cannot be both a friend and an accuser of the broken. I’m not saying we will never speak hard truths to those we sit with. It’s just that we will speak them as we sit beside them and not as we stand over them. It is always from a place of love, hard truth is accepted.

The answer is in our posture. The issues, the resistance, the need to put pieces back together; they are all eliminated when we take on the right posture besides the hurting. Jesus was all about posture. He never stood over the broken, pointing a finger. He sat down beside them, looked them in the eye and with the most love possible, pointed them toward the truth.

It was the life He lived, “he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:8).

We will sometimes be tempted to stand up and intervene because we are strong and capable, but Jesus intervenes when we are weak. He steps in and does the impossible as we sit down and make ourselves available. Do people come to you because you are a fixer or do they come to you because they trust you to sit with them?  Real healers resist the urge to be the savior and rob people of their rebuilding process with Jesus. 

Kristan has worked in ministry for over a decade. Equipped with a master’s degree in educational ministry from Cincinnati Christian Seminary, Kristan is passionate about taking people to a deeper place in their relationship with Christ. Kristan has spent the last year writing and publishing her first book titled after her calling, “Bigger. She and her husband Dave have two daughters, Ella (10) and Addilyn (7). 

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