While getting ready for work a small (really small) calamity occurred. No, it didn’t cause me to become frantic, or shed tears, but it did cause me to react – to attempt to stop what was happening from continuing.
Come find out what a little can of mousse and a broken nozzle taught me.
Styling products – you’ve got to love them!
Have you ever heard the expression, “my hair has a mind of its own?” Have you experienced those little fly away hairs – you know, the ones that seem to have the uncanny talent to stick straight up on the top of your head? If so, you are not alone. I too deal with them and in a grand attempt to tame those pesky fly aways, I douse them with mousse and blow dry my troubles away. They will bend to my will! Well that is what I usually say until this particular day…when not all went according to plan.
The morning started off as routine. I mindlessly dispensed a small amount of mousse into the palm of my hand and began to spread it throughout my hair. While concentrating on smoothing it to the ends, I heard a small hissing sound – This is not a usual sound that one hears while they are busy primping!
Needless to say, I ceased my activity and listened to what may be making the noise. It wasn’t long before I discovered that the hissing sound was coming from the base of the nozzle on the can of mousse. And unfortunately an oozing of the “precious product” was slowly escaping.
I attempted to stop the leak but there was nothing that I could do – the inevitable happened and before long my sink was full of the “magic foam.”
At first, in the frenzy of trying to save the product, I found myself attempting to do whatever I could to fix the cause, but I soon found that my energy was being wasted. I reluctantly resided (somewhat begrudgingly) to the dilemma and accepted what I could not resolve. “Well… there goes $14.00 down the drain!”
Being exasperated, I decided to take a time out and head to the kitchen to revive myself with a good cup of coffee with, I might add, a extra hit of sugar…I felt the need to pacify myself.
After finishing the cup of morning nectar, I headed back upstairs to finish what I had started before I became $14.00 poorer.
Upon entering my room, I was instantly welcomed by a sweet smelling fragrance. I recognized the aroma and knew that it was coming from the foam resting in the bottom of my bathroom sink. Surprisingly, and to my delight, I realized that not all had been lost. In fact, I had gained something more valuable then the loss of a $14.00 can of mousse. I had gained a lesson.
It wasn’t a lesson about a broken nozzle or a can deploying expensive hair styling products. It was a lesson of encouragement. A lesson that states that not all is lost in a moment of brokenness.
Have you ever thought of your brokenness as having an sweet smelling aroma? No? Well neither did I. But as I entered that room, I was instantly taken with the thought that it could. In fact that it will…if…we give our brokenness over to the only source that can fix it, God. Then, and only then, will it take on the sweet smelling aroma that offers praise, honor and glory to God for His healing and restoration of our soul.
Figuratively speaking, lets picture ourselves as a vessel, a “can” filled with a product. The can, representing our body, is just a container. And as containers go, it is subject to wear and tear, and can be marred, cracked, and dented. It is vulnerable and destructible. It is not everlasting.
The product inside our container represents our soul. And unlike the container – which is not everlasting – our soul is eternal and highly valuable to God. So valuable that He bought it with a price. And unlike me (thank goodness) God is able to save the product because He has redeemed it.
Product Under Pressure
However, the can and the product and our body and soul have something in common. A long as we live on earth, the two are inseparable. What effects one can also effect the other. When the can suffers, the product experiences pressure and sometimes that pressure is too great for us to contain.
The Sound of Brokenness
Brokenness causes pain and where pain resides noise on some level exist. Cries, screams, sounds of anguish and even silent tears carry their own unique resonance. They are all mournful and heart wrenching. Causing a reaction to rise in those in hearing distance to come to the aid of the one making such sounds. Just like my reaction to the sound escaping from the broken nozzle on my can. It stopped me from what I was doing to investigate, to locate the source and then to try to remedy the problem. Likewise, God’s is drawn to us in the same manner.
God’s attention and desire is to restore us back to health. But, being that God gives us a free will, He needs more then the sound of our pain to be invited into our brokenness. He needs an invitation. Some of us are quick to offer this to God, others are slow – maybe to the point of extremes. But sadly there are some that will never invite God into their pain. When this occurs – brokenness becomes an affliction. An affliction of the soul.
Because we are human our reflex is to handle things in our own strength. We expend energy to try to correct and fix problems. This, at times, is not necessarily the wrong thing to do. God does give us abilities to find solutions in correcting painful situations. But these types of situations usually do not lead to brokenness. It is the situations that are out of our control. The ones that expose our helplessness and render us powerless to do anything to fix it. These are painful places. These are desperate places. These are dark and lonely places. And they are places that lead to brokenness.
Invite Him In
The emotions of brokenness are many and they have the potential to damage our soul. If we are not careful we can become trapped and paralyzed, or worst yet, become the perpetual victim of brokenness. Our focus turns inward and we can only see the pain. When this happens the danger of depleting our faith and trust in God can occur. For example, when I was trying to stop the mousse from escaping from the can, I was not aware of the fragrance that it contained. I was too focused on stopping the leak – saving the product. Likewise, when we are focused on the pain of brokenness we are not aware of any good that may come from it. We are distracted, focusing on the source that caused the pain – not the source that can heal it.
With this thought in mind I began to look at brokenness in a different way. I began to think that being broken isn’t always a bad thing. Instead it can be used for the good of our soul because it causes us to call upon the intercessory power of God. It allows God to build your faith and trust – which ultimately leads to our healing.
To invite God into our pain of brokenness requires a sacrifice. The sacrifice of giving up our control and pride. To humbling acknowledge that we are in need of God’s help of His restoration. When we do this it becomes a sweet smelling aroma to God which allows Him to begin the healing of our pain.
” And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.” Ephesians 5:2