I’m finally starting Ann Voskamp’s book The Way of Abundance, a 60 Day Journey into a Deeply Meaningful Life, which I bought before Easter, but hadn’t started. I haven’t finished her earlier book The Broken Way either, but might read both concurrently. Her introduction starts with this quote:
Men of the breaking hearts had a quality about them not known to or understood by common men. They habitually spoke with spiritual authority. They had been in the Presence of God and they reported what they saw there. —A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
So I stop there a moment because I remember 2007 when I walked the streets of Medford, MA with a broken heart because my mom had died on Nov. 10, 2006 and strangers were kind to me, one encouraging me to go light a candle in church (I’m not catholic, but I was grateful), and yes, God spoke to me now and then in the quietest of whispers and once in my mom’s own voice in my head. I don’t deny Tozer’s words but I want to add that my experience of walking around broken hearted and thankful for the mom I’d had showed me the kindness of others, even their faith.
Ann talks about watching stars with her kids and explaining that stars are “made from a breaking at their center. Which allows for a process called nuclear fusion, a process that releases an enormous amount of energy, of light.”
Weak is the real strong.
Brokenness is the real abundance.
Trust the abundant ways of the universe, the ways of Almighty God.
When my mom died and grief welled up to overtake me, I was given the grace of the idea of thanking God for the mom I had and not regretting her going or grieving the past. I was weak, yes, and dependent and thankful. It was a good way to live, and Ann’s first book, 1000 Gifts affirmed that thankfulness is healing, strong, a right response always. She said, “Thanksgiving precedes the miracle,” and then in The Broken Way, realized that after Jesus gave thanks he broke the bread…the miracle comes in the breaking.
Breaking can feel like dying. Dying to dreams, dying to expectations, dying to self in order to live rightly. But the story doesn’t end there…dreams sometimes come true after all, in ways not foreseen, expectations can change, and self-correction is mature. So thanks be for broken things! (That’s almost a Gerard Manley Hopkins poem!)
All thanks and praise to God!