Everything Breaks

I am reading a little book titled Broken Things: Why We Suffer by M.R. DeHaan. It was originally written in 1948, but it could not be more relevant today.

In it, DaHaan talks about “the law of life.” For something to be gained, something else must be broken. Leaves die and make soil. Trees crack and fall and become homes for wildlife. One of DaHaan’s examples is that of farming: breaking the ground must happen before sowing. Also, building a house requires a breaking of anything in the way, like trees, and rocks and the like. And those trees must be broken to make the structure of the house.

It is how the natural world works.

“There is no making without breaking.” (p. 14).


And like the author, I agree that the same holds true for the spiritual realm. When Paul says in Romans that God will work all things for the good for those who love him (8:28), this is the law of life is at work. He can make something useful out of brokenness.


In this current pandemic world, a great many things are being broken. And though they may be temporary, the lasting effects of them are unknown right now. Major events always cause change. What that means for all of the world and all of those in my little world, remains to be seen. This alone is cause for anxiety let alone any fears of getting sick.


I have been fighting off Mr. Anxious (I like to have a name for my nemeses) for the most part. Keeping occupied with things that help others (like my work) or things that bring me joy (like wine time with my auntie via Zoom Meeting) or creating (like writing and sewing) all help. It is at night that I am mostly in battle with Mr. Anxious.


With everything going on, I am attempting to look at it as something God will use to bring about good.

Another nemesis, Mr. Insomnia has been my “friend” for years. But since starting this new challenge of clinical chaplaincy, I have been sleeping well. Until end of last week when I was social distanced to work from home. That sudden change upset the fragile ecosystem of my spirit. Something broke. It was not a big break, but it did cause me to take stock and adjust and therefore began making something new.


With everything going on, I am attempting to look at it as something God will use to bring about good. I am already seeing signs of people caring more about each other. Maybe this will be something that unites our divided country. Maybe whole new ways of helping people will emerge. Maybe I will grow in character. God can do what He will and I am expecting good things. If pieces of my world must be broken first, the is the law of life. Might as well accept it.



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Valerie LK Martin

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