by Jake Hall

published in Family Matters eNewsletter, 4/3/14

Contrasts abound during the Lenten season: light and darkness, virtue and vice, sacred and profane, and not the least being the beauty and brokenness found in every individual. Hemingway once wrote, “The world breaks all of us.”
 
This season of prayer and introspection reveals it all, if our confessions mean anything at all during this season. Confession exposes who we really are. We are all composed of the very same contrasts that we see in the world. We are broken, yet beautiful. We are sinful saints. We are frail heroes. We are tempted and tired and totally God’s people.
 
When we consider the cross, we are invited into the brokenness of the world, only to find nothing less than the beauty of God. “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.” A focus on the cross reveals beauty. That realization should lead us to another confession. Yes, we are all broken, but it is in that confession that we find grace and beauty.
 
For years now, I have found my Lenten journey framed by the songs on my playlist. This year I am nourished by the work of Linford Detweiler and vocalist Karin Bergquist, the husband and wife team known as Over the Rhine. Consider the words of this Lenten hymn.

 

All My Favorite People Are Broken

(Click here to listen)
 
All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know

Some prayers are better left unspoken
I just wanna hold you
And let the rest go
 
All my friends are part saint and part sinner
We lean on each other
Try to rise above
 
We’re not afraid to admit we’re all still beginners
We’re all late bloomers
When it comes to love
 
All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know
 
Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
Step forward
You can stay right here
You don’t have to go
 
Is each wound you’ve received
Just a burdensome gift?
It gets so hard to lift
Yourself up off the ground

But the poet says,
We must praise the mutilated world
We’re all workin’ the graveyard shift
You might as well sing along
 
All my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know
 
(As for) your tender heart—
This world’s gonna rip it wide open
It ain’t gonna be pretty
But you’re not alone
 
‘Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me
My heart should know
 
Orphaned believers, skeptical dreamers
You’re welcome
Yeah, you’re safe right here
You don’t have to go
 
‘Cause all my favorite people are broken
Believe me
I should know

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