The Work of the People

FEB 24, 2015 - Visual Epistles

Broken as the Beginning

Many of us see our own brokenness as an end to life, but, author, Glennon Doyle Melton, shares with us that it is only the beginning. Grief has a way of opening up parts of our lives to unexpected joy and hope. It helps us to see what is truly important in us and in others. 

Questions for Reflection

1. Melton starts by commenting, “I think that we try to protect ourselves by not allowing our hearts be broken, but I think a broken heart is not the end to anything; I think it is the beginning. I think that most of the magic in my life has happened when my heart has shattered.” In what way is a broken heart “the beginning” and “not the end to anything”? How has a broken heart been an important part of your life?

2. Melton alludes to the story of the Velveteen rabbit: “You become real when the shine wears off of life and where things have fallen apart and people have come to you during that time and people have allowed you to grieve.” How have you become more “real” when things have “fallen apart”? How have people allowed and helped you to grieve during these times?

3. Melton says, “Pain and grief is the place to be with other people; it’s the realest place to be.” How does pain and grief allow us to be with others in a real and authentic way?

4. Melton talks about grief as “a skill we are not taught.” How is this so? What has been your experience with how others treat those who are grieving?

5. Melton paraphrases Victor Frankle in saying “What is to give light must endure burning.” How is it that in order for us to become light, we must also experience “burning”? What does personal suffering do to our sense of empathy for others?

6. Melton recites a quote saying, “You have to have everything fall apart to find out what is indestructible about you.” How have you experienced this? In what ways did suffering test your resolve and strength?

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We believe there is an alternative narrative to the prevalent narrative of scarcity and fear. We believe God is moving and is behind an alternative narrative of abundance and freedom, a narrative in which fear gets defeated and love wins.

We believe God’s narrative requires we altǝr our perspective, that we step, in faith, into God’s upside down reality. In God’s reality we listen for, live and speak God’s upside down voice of faith, hope and love, not striving for ourselves but serving our neighbor. For all these reasons, this is Altǝr.

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