a writing by Elizabeth Padillo Olesen

The Irony of Human Brokenness
Only after going through an experience of our own brokenness that our life can be offered as a rich blessing for others. For who are much capable to speak of hope if not those who have undergone the deepest valley of despair? For who can speak of unspeakable joy, if not that those who have undergone the deepest sea of sorrow? For who can value the preciousness of health if not those who have tasted the bitterness of the face of death?

It is indeed ironical, Easter morning comes only after Holy Friday. Only after the crucifixion of Jesus, of his experiencing the deepest form of humiliation, of being mocked by a crowd, whipped and laughed at, rejected by his own people, crucified to death when the joy of Easter morning comes.

It is ironical that the Christian faith does not provide a promise of bed of roses. Indeed the picture of thorns made as a crown placed to adorn the head of Jesus is a strong image in the Holy Friday, It is when we undergo thorns in life, thorns that prick and break us that we are able to experience the beauty of triumph like a form of smelting after the period of going through the flames of fire that is able to purify us.

I never thought I would ever treasure the darkest moments in my life when I thought of death because of a horrible disease which was about to kidnap me from the world of the living. I never thought I would ever say thanks for the times when I experienced being mocked and ostracised, rejected or betrayed but strangely enough and only lately, I have discovered that these moments of deepest pain were made doors to unimaginable bountiful blessings. Strangely enough, it was during these darkest moments in my life that I experienced God’s hand that answered to my plea and cries. The answer is not abrupt. It is long time of waiting, but after a while in these dark moments, I experience being not left alone. I experience being truly loved by God.

I never imagined that there would come a period in my life when I would begin to thank God for those horrible experiences because in them I am able to see the glimpse of God’s love, as they were able to build me up, after having been broken and crushed. But such is the irony of our own human brokenness.

Elizabeth Padillo Olesen
July 19, 2010
Written at the OASE Summer Camp

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