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by author, Ann Voskamp October 31, 2016
In her new book, The Broken Way, best-selling author Ann Voskamp asks the questions not one of us can afford to ignore: What do you do with your unspoken broken?, what’s the answer to suffering, to the brokenness of all our hearts?, and what do you do if you really want to know abundant wholeness - before it’s too late?
Read below for an excerpt from chapter 3…
Our brazen hands reach out and take it every Sunday morning. When they pass it from tired hand to hand in our country chapel on Sunday morning, when the ash-split basket with the loaf of bread that has just been broken in half passes from the gnarled hands of the hog farmer down to the wrinkled hands of the widow with her tarnished wedding band, still on to the mother reaching past the child sleeping open-mouthed on her lap, I watch. I watch how they press their fingers into the broken loaf, watch how we all tear into the loaf. We’re all wolves in need of a lamb.
Do this in remembrance of Me. Continuously make the ever-present Christ present. Continuously be part of the re-membering of brokenness. This happens every Sunday. When you’re a bloodied mess with that cursed chronic soul amnesia, it is good to remember your soul is dangerously emaciated for a reviving taste of His memory.
Mrs. Van Den Boogard passes the broken loaf to Mrs. Van Maneen. They tear off chunks of the loaf in hand, take crushed wheat to lips. And I’m rung loud: What in God’s good and holy name are we all doing here? We ingest the broken. We become the broken. The wheat was crushed. Every kernel shattered for this bread. Every grape was crushed. The sweetness ran in the brokenness. In shattered places, with broken people, we are most near the broken heart of Christ, and find our whole selves through the mystery of death and resurrection, through the mystery of brokenness and abundance. We are the body sustained by His brokenness, His givenness, sustained by this Last Supper that for centuries was called simply “the thanksgiving” - the eucharistias.
That’s the whole mess of us: the broken body comes to the thanksgiving to be fed the blessing of His broken and given body.
The miracle happens in the breaking - a breaking into the enoughness of communion.
The basket with the loaf moves to the end of my row, this movement of communion. They’re passing it from hand to hand, closer. The piano is playing it like a stirring - “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross.”
The miracle of intimate union, of communion, comes through brokenness - through broken places and broken people and the brokenness of Christ and being broken and given.
All throughout the sanctuary, there is the tearing of bread, the swallowing down.
This is how you live with your one broken heart: you give it away. This is how you enter into the wholeness of koinonia - communion.
This is an excerpt from The Broken Way written by Ann Voskamp. To purchase this book and dive into the rest of the story, click here.
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