Before Jesus died, he drew his followers attention to a kernel of wheat.
If that kernel lived, he said, it would remain only a single seed. But, if it were crushed and broken, it would produce much life.
And this kernel is truth, and this kernel tells the story of my Jesus.
This Jesus who laid himself down, put on earthly baby skin, lived full as a man, washed filth from between toes, exalted small things, despised hypocrisy, healed the sick, loved the outcasts and children and proclaimed God’s love and hope that is for each one.
This Jesus who on Good Friday suffered humiliation, scorn, shame and the full weight of humanity’s brokenness upon the tree.
This Jesus died, but, as we remind our children and ourselves, he did not stay dead.
Yes, Sunday will come, and he is risen indeed, but first, the breaking, and I remember the places I’ve known the breaking, too — that dying that precedes life.
Last weekend, Michael and I walk on the unflinching barnacle-encrusted rocks and watch underfoot for the tender sea stars and anemone. We look back over nearly 15 years of marriage and remember sick places and places filled shame, and it is not where we live today.
But in the light of the full sun, waves rushing round, fingers interlaced, spring breaking through soil, we cannot forget those pitch dark nights — weeping on the bedroom floor, crying out with hearts broken near in half, and the struggle to trust one moment after a next. Our personal broken.
We only call it Good Friday because we know the ending and, in Jesus, we can always.
For the struggle, the mourning, the sorrow — the breaking always precedes the miracle.
So much more to say about this, but my time is (past) up. The family and I have enjoyed a full spring break, and there’s more good to come. I hope you are well and want you to know I count you among some of my most blessed gifts in this life. I’m not sure how much I’ll be posting in the next week, but want to wish you a beautiful Easter. Happy Easter, friends. He is risen indeed!
Joining with the Five Minute Friday community at Lisa-Jo‘s where we write for five minutes, refrain from extreme editing and encourage one another’s words. Today’s prompt: BROKEN.
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I love that line, ‘the breaking always precedes the miracle.’ So true! I pray you have a blessed Easter. :)
Broken – a great word for today. Jesus suffered much on our behalf. May we be willing to follow after Him wholeheartedly!
Oh, please continue on with this theme, it is so profound.
You break me open to receive more and more stories of His redemptive love and healing. There is healing in your telling friend. A healing sort of balm in the reminders. Happiest Easter Joy in your soul. love and grace, elizabeth
“We only call it Good Friday because we know the ending…” Yes – this is oh so true! I remember as a kid – unchurched and unsaved… I never got it – but this… this is why! It is won. It is done!
thank you for this. im sitting in starbucks reading in matthew of jesus being flogged. torn to pieces while insults were thrown and spit on him. it is because of all the brokeness that it makes his glorious triumph over death..over our brokeness so much sweeter. it makes this sunday so much sweeter…such a celebration. thanks for laying pillow to pillow this week and sharing those hard hard hard places in marriage that jesus has touched and healed. soooooo encouraging to me that life can not only grow from our weaknesses….but can flourish and be more than we could ever ever imagine! so exciting to know the giver of life. i love you buddy. i am proud to be your friend.
Thanks once again Ashley for my Easter ‘gift of pause’
to reflect on “breaking before the miracle” and why we can say “Good Friday”. So blessed we are to “know the ending”. Always praying for the heart willing to be broken — so Jesus can do His miracle in us. Have a safe and fun trip south and enjoy every minute of your time with Ali and Jeff’s crew.
Thank you Ashley for your lovely writing. All of “us” who get to ponder your words get to feel a special “touch” from God, each time you either “flow with” or “struggle to get to” that special place in you where those words come from. The quality of your “work” (it rather seems a “mission”) has such a connecting gift for our humanness which is of great comfort! Much Love and Happy Easter and Spring to you, Mike and the kidlets, your precious little tribe.
I like the idea of the breaking preceding the miracle. Very nice post.
Ashley, this is incredible. You have a gift with words, and have painted such a lovely picture here. You squeezed so much weight into such a small space, and I’m so thankful your link jumped out at me from Five Minute Friday.
I especially appreciate the beauty of the scene of you and Michael on the beach… your honesty is refreshing and encouraging.
Isn’t it amazing when we can look back at the restoration of God in our marriages?! Love that. May God’s grace always abound in your marriage and may the Lord use your experiences to encourage others and bring Him glory!
Blessed Easter to you and your loved ones!! xx
The dying that precedes life… the breaking that precedes miracle… the Jesus who made a way for us to know the ending and call it good. Thank you, for all these blessed reminders, sister. I love how you and Michael remember and I’m happy that you are no longer in those places you’ve been. Looking forward to meeting you soon and wrapping you in a big hug….
Thank you for this, Ashley – appreciate your vulnerability. I am sure I have said before, “you are good for my soul”. What a lovely Easter day in Portland :-)
p.s. stunning photography!
Oh, those broken times when we have no idea how the shattered pieces can be put back together— those are the times when faith becomes REAL- but UGGHHH how it hurts. We call those broken times “bathroom floor seasons” at our house- because in the early days of marriage I’d go hide behind a locked bathroom door (only door that locked in our tiny 1 bedroom apartment) and lay on the floor and sob and pray when life felt too hard. So thankful for your heart and humility here. Such hope in these words. Hope your Easter was a sweet one, dear friend.