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  • Writer's pictureKris Freudenthal

Beauty in the Broken

"There is a strange and aching happiness only the hurting know - for they shall be held by the One who loves them."

I sat on the front porch, positioned by his feet, watching as he worked. Using a pocket knife I watched in amazement as my grandfather cut, sliced, peeled a simple twig ever so gently - working it into something only he saw. I watched the shavings fall to the ground and wondered how he knew where to cut and how deeply. But his eyes twinkled as I studied his motions. He knew because he was the one determining what it would look like. He was the one who saw more in the thing than just a stick to be tossed aside - He saw beauty within, aching to come out. And when he finished his masterpiece, smoothing all the rough places, he handed it down to me - a small token of his time and love for me to use as I wanted. Then I saw the beauty he had seen.

Now, as adult in a place of life I've never been, I find myself looking once again upwards to ask the same questions - how deep will the cut be? how do you know where to cut? how much longer must you chip away and make smooth? But this time I'm not the spectator, I'm the object being changed, being molded, being broken. And looking down, lovingly into my eyes, is the Creator, working so softly for my beauty to shine - to show His glory.

In the process of brokenness pain comes. But even in the pain I can see beauty - I can see Him. His loving eyes still smile down on my face - reaffirming that He sees more in me than I do, that He loves me more than I knew, that He wants more for my life than I do. Sometimes the cuts are deep. Sometimes the rough places become safe and removing them is scary and hard. Sometimes I think it'd just be easier to keep the bark, to remain a simple twig. But then I look into His eyes and see the same sweet twinkle of inspiration I once saw in my grandfather's eyes, and I know the beauty is worth the struggle. 

The breaking isn't designed to hurt me, but shape me. Break me, Lord. Shape me. Smooth my rough places. Chip away the me I thought I was so I can see the me You see. Make me more like You. I want to be more. 

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