Brokenness for another is a gift that can never be repaid. One can recognize the sacrifice and pain. One can celebrate the gift. One can do many things, however, one cannot replace what was once whole. Countries celebrate the memory of individuals who gave her/his life for a community and principles on which it stands. Communities remember those that reached for more, giving of themselves without regards for desire and ease. While each case is different, I find that process and tradition of remembering is one of the highest acts that we choose to embrace as human beings.
In speaking to a soldier that was heading off to a war zone, I found myself struggling to understand the sacrifice and uncertainty he and his family were going through. His two young daughters almost understood the risk. His was had signed up for the challenge, yet you could sense the quiver in her lower lip as she talked about the days ahead. I could not help but be aware that my life was better in everyway because of their commitment and brokenness.
There are other gifts of brokenness in my life. I experience the ongoing stories of wisdom figures giving up the pursuits of the day to pursue a higher calling. I recall the story of how “the Master, Jesus, on the night of his betrayal, took bread. Having given thanks, he broke it and said, ‘this is my body, broken for you. Do this to remember me.’” (1 Corinthians 11.24) With each image I am touched within, changed because of how they were broken.
We have the opportunity to receive their gifts and in turn give to others. There will be times that others are aware. Most of the time our gifts will go unrecognized. It is easy to think there is no reward. We should always guard against this view. In the same way that others have given to us, we can take time to celebrate the gifts of individuals make for their community. Today is a day for ceremony and celebration! Each day is.