In Others’ Words: Blessed are We …

Blessed quote by Nouwen 3. 17.14

God is a God of relationship. He wants a relationship with us … and he wants us in relationship with others.

One thing I know — and I write about: relationships are messy. We are  broken, messy people trying to love other broken, messy people. Sometimes, when God steps into our fumbling attempts at relationship, something beyond us transpires. I learn how to love you more than my brokenness allows.

My less than … my poverty … becomes more than because God makes it so.

So often I think of what I bring to a relationship — a friendship, my marriage, whatever — in terms of what kind of strength I have to offer someone else.

But when I start from the point of acknowledging (at least to myself and God) that I am broken, wounded and in great need of God’s lavish grace and love, I have so much more to offer someone else. I lean into my relationship with God, drawing from that place of deep communion … and my dependence on God can only benefit my relationships here on earth.

In Your Words: How does your relationship with God influence your relationships here on earth? How do you experience being “blessed where you are poor, where you are broken?”  

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My less than … becomes more than because God makes it so. Click to Tweet

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  1. March 17, 2014, 7:23 am   /  Reply

    Whoa, you’ve done it again. I should know by now when I click HERE I’m going to encounter more than prettily arranged words. I meet probing truth that hits between the eyes, that makes me gasp, sit up, and take notice. Even at grandmother age I sometimes act out of thinking I have to be good and do well to be accepted, usually having to convince myself before risking opening up to others. God and close friends are helping re-educate me LOTS with that. In other words, the true picture is more like oddly-shaped puzzle pieces locking together because of their non-uniform connection points. Another great blog thatt made my heart puddle and speaks to something I was praying about just this morning.

    • March 17, 2014, 12:21 pm   /  Reply

      Dear Dee:
      I have to admit that writing this blog post was like arranging and re-arranging puzzle pieces for me too. I sat and looked at the words. Deleted a few. Wrote a few … until the truth made sense to me. I am thankful what I wrote ministered to your heart.

  2. March 17, 2014, 8:59 am   /  Reply

    “I learn how to love you more than my brokenness allows.” What a truth-filled statement, my Friend. Sometimes I want to run from brokenness – mine and others – because the messiness hurts. But that’s when God’s love and grace make all the difference. Experiencing that — not just knowing about it — makes me willing to keep jumping back into the wonderful messiness of relationships. I am so very thankful that He is MORE THAN.

    • March 17, 2014, 12:22 pm   /  Reply

      Oh, Donna … I am so thankful for God’s lavish “more than” every day … every single day of my life.

  3. March 17, 2014, 11:36 am   /  Reply

    This is a tough question to address. My relationship with the Almighty is pretty distant. I envy those who can call God ‘friend’, but in all honesty I am not there. I believe He exists, but much of what I have seen veils His purpose.

    Relating to others is typically done through email (rare now) or blogs like this; I see very few people in the course of my life (but lots of dogs).

    I try to stay upbeat, and the distance is an advantage in that you can’t see me in ways that would suggest brokenness. I can fake it quite well, but faking is really an act which helps bolster a reality of strength. More an exercise, really.

    • March 17, 2014, 12:23 pm   /  Reply

      I am blessed … truly, that is the word, “blessed” that you read my blog. That you join the conversation. That you enrich my life (and others’) with your thoughts. And sometimes I, too, fake strength. Some days require that.

      • March 17, 2014, 2:15 pm   /  Reply

        The honor is mine, to be able to participate.

        Faked strength can sometimes be the most genuine of all.

  4. March 17, 2014, 12:52 pm   /  Reply

    Beautiful post, Beth. Brokenness is where a relationship can become genuine. When I try to wear the “got it all together” me, people see what I want them to see. But it keeps them at a distance. And it keeps God at a distance. When I can be real with my messy me, it invites people to relate to my weakness. To know it’s okay to be weak. Broken.

    I’d like to think that my relationship with God is growing. He strengthens me and gives me what I need to reflect Him to those who cross my path in a given day. To those who I love and spend time with. I hope God’s grace pours out through me when others make mistakes.

    • March 17, 2014, 3:34 pm   /  Reply

      An interesting thing about brokenness is that it can relate to others in ways you had not anticipated.

      I’m not spiritually broken, but physically…yes. I can’t go out to shop anymore; the last time I went to Walmart I collapsed in the parking lot on my way out.

      Two sets of strong arms immediately picked me up, and took me to my car. two young men sat me in the driver’s seat, loaded the groceries, and then stayed with me – holding the keys – until they were sure I could drive. Then they followed me home.

      They were gang members, and one of them told me that if I ever got messed with, to mention his name, and I’d have no more trouble. He’d always have my back.

  5. March 17, 2014, 4:31 pm   /  Reply

    What depth here today. I picture us all as mosaics. Pottery that God breaks and then uses the pieces to make a beautiful mosaic.

  6. March 18, 2014, 11:57 am   /  Reply

    Beth, another beautiful post. No surprise there!

    It’s in my brokenness that I cling to God, that I pour out my soul to Him. Those moments I beg Him to empty me of ME and fill me with HIM. Those times on my knees He uses to create in me the character, the strength, the core of who I am… all in the image of Him. Because of those deeply felt, heartaching and bittersweet moments of trial by fire and character building, my relationship with God is strengthened. Because my relationship with God is strengthened, the other relationships in my life are strengthened. I become more willing to overlook others’ faults, as I realize, once again, I am far away from perfect. I become more patient with my friends and family (and random people at Walmart), as I see how patient God is with me. It’s His example in my personal life that I strive to follow. He’s giving me so many first-hand glimpses of who He wants me to be… how can I strive to be anything else?



  7. March 22, 2014, 5:16 pm   /  Reply

    “My less than … my poverty … becomes more than because God makes it so.”

    Brilliantly articulated, beautifully expressed, precisely targeted, encouraging truth.

    I know that these expressions of edifying truth are the fruit of your communion with God. What the Spirit pours into you comes flowing out of you for the benefit of others.

    As you offer the sacrifice of your brokenness to God I can clearly see God’s “beauty in the broken.” And that is a great encouragement to me.

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