“When I get my hands really flailing, I can see the cross I’ve inked right there on the wrist and I suddenly think how theology is an exercise in futility unless it’s exercised under our roofs, unless it’s exercised with our hands and our feet.”
Can the Christian life be summarized as finding wholeness in our brokenness? We are all broken in some way – full of hurt, mistrust, misunderstanding or sin. However, God wants to reach through all of that and use us by filling us with Him. The how is the big question – how do we go from broken to complete and useful?
Ann Voskamp lays her life and soul bare in The Broken Way. She wrote One Thousand Gifts in 2011 to explore how thankfulness could restore her faith in God. She was a child when she saw her little sister get run over and killed by a delivery truck driver at their home. She had difficulty with faith but reached out to God by finding ways to be thankful and He reached back to her. I enjoyed the concepts in One Thousand Gifts, but not the style it was written. I had heard good things about The Broken Way and wanted to see what lessons were in this new book and I wasn’t disappointed.
Voskamp reveals that she dealt with cutting as a teenager and considered herself broken. She takes us through her recent family struggles and how she tries to find ways to give. She draws a cross on her wrist every day to remind her that Jesus can use what is broken. As she and her family find ways to give to both strangers and the people around them, they realize that God fills in the broken parts when we are willing to be used by Him.
This book is really powerful because Voskamp is willing to be honest with her thoughts and struggles. I think many people will be able to identify with her in at least one struggle she shares – including being frustrated with children’s messes. The overall message is that when we give, we end up receiving. When we are real, true friendships can blossom. We are all broken; we don’t need to pretend we aren’t.
I would recommend this book to any adult. It would be great as a group study book so the topics can be discussed. Be forewarned, though – this book just might change how you think about showing your brokenness.