Broken Cup speaks to me of several things (no, not my
clumsiness—really I didn’t break this one): first of Jesus’ pain
and broken-ness taken on willingly to bring healing and new life
to you and me; it also reminds me of the broken-ness and darkness
and pain around and within each of us.
I want to use it as a focus when I speak of the folks of Joy
Fellowship, a supportive church community and outreach for people
with developmental disabilities. These are people who society
would see as broken and useless, very small and insignificant.
I was thinking back to the first Joy Fellowship camp I
attended. I was late arriving (no big surprise there!) and as I
walked into that room full of people I was overwhelmed by all the
broken-ness and obvious suffering—so many severely handicapped
people. I remember praying, "Lord, I don’t thin I can do this,"
expecting I was going to be doing all the giving. It never even
crossed my mind that these people could possibly have anything to
give to me.
Joy Gregory introduced me and asked a couple of the folks to
show me to my room—Wow! these people know how to welcome and care
for you. By the end of that 3 days, I felt so loved and so hugged
that it touched a deep place in me I’d shut down. It doesn’t mean
they’re perfect but they have gifts from the heart—a sense of
presence, just being themselves with no pretense that invites you
to be yourself as well, being received not for being brilliant but
just for being you. There’s a generosity in their loving that is
nurtured by JF leadership.
Back to the cup—you may not be able to see it but there’s a tea
light inside the cup. You may think this cup is useless because of
it’s brokenness but it occurred to me—easier to see in the dark
when the candle’s burning—that if the cup weren’t broken you
wouldn’t be able to see the light nearly as well. In their very
broken weakness and vulnerability, Jesus, the light, can be seen
in the people of Joy Fellowship more clearly than ever. It also
occurred to me that sometimes it’s in our broken areas of pain and
weakness, rather than in our strength and giftedness that God’s
light shines clearest.