We have one of those little fold-back booklets on every table in our lunch room, ones we can look at, if drinking a cup of coffee alone, or that we can read aloud to anyone who might need a good word or “thought for the day”! Recently, I read this message: “Lord, help me to have a gentler attitude toward everyone. I need to remember I am not more perfect than they. Amen.”
Well, I was surprised that the message made me think not so much of perfection as of its opposite, brokenness, and the fact that being broken is what makes us human.
I began to sing:
'Tis a gift to be simple (to be broken)
'Tis a gift to be free (to embrace my humanness);
'Tis a gift to come down where we ought to be ...
I kept singing wondering where this would take me next in thoughtfulness.
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
We’ll be in the valley of love and delight.”
“Why in the valley of love and delight if we can accept our brokenness and that of others?” I asked myself.
Perhaps it is because, then, we won’t have to feel shame, so that compassion could reign in our hearts. All of us are broken ... I can see it now ... it’s not only I ... so if I think about it, I won’t have to deny my brokenness and humanity or that of others. It seems that our brokenness is what makes us one multi-faceted human family!
Oh, welcome to the human race, black sister, brown brother, yellow children, white rascals, limping cousins, gay friends, even war-mongers and inadequate politicians, sinners of all stripes and ages! Whoever you are, come on in, wash your hands and have a seat at the banquet of love and delight! I’m not more perfect than you nor are you less human than the guy next to you!
Renée Domeier, OSB