WorshipWeb: Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

Beauty from Brokenness

By Paula Gribble

“I’m beautifully broken, perfectly imperfect, beautiful in my flaws. All together, I am a beautiful disaster.”
—Author unknown

I am broken. We are all broken. Now, stay with me: in meteorology, the term broken refers to the sky “being more than half, but not totally, covered by clouds.”

When I was a child, life was especially challenging. I suffered abuse, both verbal and sexual. I was poor, and sometimes hungry. I am broken.

On a bed of rocks, an empty pink snail shell has a small hole. Purple flowers rest nearby.

I am not the only one. All of us sit with our own struggles, hard times, pains, and losses. You are broken.

It may be a natural response to hide this brokenness. You, like me, may have avoided certain topics with people so you didn’t have to talk about a painful time. You may have tried to hide the things you don’t like about yourself.

Let’s return to that meteorological definition: “being more than half, but not totally, covered by clouds.” Have you ever been outside on a cloudy day and then light shines through the clouds? And it’s particularly beautiful because it’s coming through all the clouds around it? Sunny days are great, but there’s something special about the light coming through the clouds on a broken day…something graceful.

I offer to you that you do not have to feel like a cracked and flawed plate you drop in the kitchen—the one that will never quite work right. Instead, the things that have broken you also make you beautiful, special, graceful.

I am not saying that painful and challenging things are okay. They’re not. But I would not be the person I am today if I had not gone through those things. My broken is what makes me who I am today.

And you would not be the person you are without your brokenness. Your special, beautiful, graceful light couldn’t shine through without the clouds surrounding you. Beautiful creations born out of brokenness.

We have to take these parts of ourselves, and allow them to be broken, and from these broken pieces create something new. Something beautiful and special. Something born out of our brokenness. Something broken that is also perfect.


Spirit of Life and Love: Let us see ourselves with grace, knowing that we are flawed, yet also knowing that we are something beautiful born of brokenness. Broken…and perfect!

About the Author

Paula Gribble

Paula Gribble (she/her) serves as the Director of Lifespan Faith Engagement for the UU Church in Cherry Hill in New Jersey, and as the co-president of the Joseph Priestley Chapter of the Liberal Religious Educators Association (LREDA)....


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