Contrary to what the fairytales would have us believe, all stories do not begin with the fabled words, “Once upon a time…”
No, all stories begin with a shattering.
The breaking of a set pattern, an ideal of what life is supposed to be, a turning from the norm as we have thus far known or experienced it.
In the beginning, God spoke the words, “Let there be light,” and effectively shattered the empty darkness. With the power of His word, He obliterated the heavy blackness, piercing it with the brightness of day.
He shattered nothingness to bring about marvelous works of His glory never before revealed. Constellations and planets flung into space; sun, moon, and stars hurled across the galaxies, coming to rest in precise position to provide a perfect balance of light and darkness for the new earth He was creating.
With the brooding of His Spirit, He shattered the calm of the deep, bursting through the surface to bring to life a vast array of fishes and dolphins and whales of all shapes and sizes. Oceans teeming with life and motion and breaking tides upon the shorelines.
Earthen crust was shattered with the creeping of roots taking form, rising into stalwart trees and life-giving plants to sustain the wonders of this world in the making. Flocks of winged birds hovered in their branches, shattering the quiet with their songs of praise before lifting in unrestrained flight, wings outstretched and soaring. Herds of gazelle broke across the open fields with pounding hooves turned loose to run with graceful abandon, joining the conglomeration of creatures now filling the barrenness.
Most miraculous of all, the breath of life exhaled upon hardened clay, shattering dusty particles to form a work of wonder called man. Image created by hands of the Divine daring to soil themselves to bring forth this most treasured creation.
Molding, breaking, and molding again. A perpetual work in progress through the ages as generation after generation rises from dust into life, then flows back into dust only to rise to life once more. Shattering the belief that this world is our eternal home.
Like the earth in which I live, so too, a shattering marks the beginnings of me.
God created a form in the darkness of a womb where no form was. He shaped and molded and grew me into His likeness, then expelled me from the confines of that darkness with a breaking of water and a shattering of the protective covering in which I had dwelt for months. New life, born through the shattering of all that had been known to me, would continue to be made known to me year after year as I followed the path stretched out by His hand.
Through the growth and maturing of days morphing into years, there are a myriad of shatterings that mark our paths. A constant breaking from the patterns of life. A pull to move beyond the confining expectations thrust upon us by others, and those held firmly by ourselves.
It’s easy to look at the moments of life – each with its own joys or trials – and deem one worthy and the other somehow lacking. But grace is everywhere, really. Even in the shatterings. Perhaps, especially there… if we would only live with eyes open to see it.
Every bit of our days plays into something. Something yet unknown. Something large. Something hidden from the whole.
Somewhere in it all, there’s a pattern of shattering aching to birth new life. A beautiful array of roses and thorns and leaves and stems, all reaching to consume and contain a beauty we ache to grasp. To breathe it; hold it closely; crush it tightly. And release it lavishly into the shattered world in which we live. Every. Lovely. Hurting. Moment.
All of it matters.
All is necessary to produce the purpose of the whole beyond the fragments. Every seemingly disjointed, unnoticed, unworthy piece.
It’s all the making of me.
Every moment a page in the story of creation, and it’s worth the read.
Once upon a shattering… God turned an empty nothingness into a creation of wonder.
Once upon a shattering… you were spoken into being.
Once upon a shattering... you were redeemed and called into your purpose as Light-bearer.
Once upon a shattering… death was conquered in victory.
Once upon a shattering… God will speak yet again.
Once upon a shattering… every broken thing will be raised into newness and life.
Once upon a shattering… the old will be obliterated by the timeless splintering of HOPE.
For all eternity.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus… let the shattering begin.