Monday, May 23, 2016

A Broken Pen and a Spiritual Parallel

The post-breast-surgery exercises that I could not do AT ALL last week, I can now do. Ignore the fact that I only do five of the 5-7 recommended repetitions. Also, I cannot lie flat and do the killer winging arm exercise, but I can do it with a pillow under my head. If that is cheating, so be it. I am doing my best.

Part of the issue is not the surgical soreness. The new breast is created by an implant under the pectoral muscle. That poor muscle is already being stretched beyond its intended purpose. To do the exercises, it has to be stretched even more. It doesn't exactly hurt...well...actually, it does hurt. Exactly.

But it is not a terrible pain. It is more discomfort, like poking at my eye with a stick. Well no. Not that bad. Let's just say I cannot WAIT to finish the repetitions. My arm is not very sore afterwards, which must be a good sign.

Meanwhile, my Surface Tablet Pen broke, right when I have three potential new book illustration jobs. It still works, sort of, so I played around with it yesterday. I created the lioness above with my broken pen. It is amazing what we can do, even when we are broken.

That was part of our message yesterday in church. We are starting a study of the book of Proverbs. The pastor noted that despite all Solomon's wisdom and greatness, he was as fallible, broken, and struggling with sin as we all are. Nonetheless, he accomplished great things for God. The last thing any of us need to be is perfect to be useful to God. There would definitely be a shortage of people God could use if perfection was required.

CS Lewis states it beautifully, speaking of God and His work to make us what we should become: The job will not be completed in this life: but He means to get us as far as possible before death.

I am a perfectionist, so this lesson is one I struggle with. I need perfection now. (No-duh! That aside is what I am sure my husband is muttering if he is reading this.) Cancer is just one more part of the broken world that is teaching me this very lesson. There are things I absolutely cannot do yet with my right arm. I cannot pump out shampoo with my affected arm, or reach the shower head to turn it so the water doesn't slam right into my eyes. It doesn't matter how much I want to, I can't. I cannot lie flat on the ground and do the winging arm exercise without a pillow under my head. At all. Not even close. This lack of skill and imperfections are terribly frustrating to me. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

But I am still useful. I can still type to write this blog. I can still go on long walks and encourage little girls selling koolaid (and yes, I did do that...), and I can still pray. I can still go to the sidewalks of the abortion center today, and call out to the women, "Please. Come talk with us. Tell us your situation. We want to help."

So I will. Please pray for our team, broken but obedient, to be mightily used by God.

Psalm 34:18 

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.


  1. Just as I am...He welcomed me, and welcomes ALL. And then, still broken,imperfect people, He loves us!!! Praying for you and for the team. Praying many babies will be saved.

  2. Good enough...put it out there, is the message God is sending me.

  3. Praying for you, friend, and for the Holy Spirit to work in hearts and change lives today.
    "It's not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit," says the Lord. You are His beautiful vessel to carry His Truth. "[They] shall "know the Truth, and the Truth shall set [them] free."