None of us likes to feel broken. We like to feel put together, whole, complete. Yet, if we were to look back on our lives, we would see that some of the most important growth seems to take place whenever we have felt our most broken.
The poet Rumi said, “the wound is the place where the light enters you.” It is often in our woundedness where our most honest prayers are born.
We may feel as if we are living in a broken time in a broken world, but each day, there is something to remind us of beauty even in the brokenness. Yesterday, someone who brought a great deal of beauty and honesty into the world through his songs passed away, Leonard Cohen. One of his songs is a long time favorite of mine, “Hallelujah,” I think of it as one of the most honest prayer songs around today. He speaks of our prayer as a broken hallelujah.
Every Sunday we break bread and call it Christ’ body. In order to be shared, a complete and whole loaf of bread must be broken into many parts. It is a paradox that through brokenness, we are made whole again. Only to be broken and shared with others somewhere along the way. This is the cycle of love. The poet David Whyte said that anything you love will eventually break your heart, it’s the nature of the heart to break.
You may be familiar with the Japanese practice of Kintsugi, fixing broken pottery with gold. Each crack in a broken vessel is accentuated by gold to celebrate the brokenness rather than disguise it.
From the Bible’s sequence of prayers, the Psalms, we learn that prayer is for the broken, it is language from the depths of despair. It is through our broken hallelujah prayers that we find the true gold of God in us, through us and among us. It is through prayer that we mend.
I want to encourage you that prayer is nothing more than speaking to God, some choose to call Higher Power, from the honest brokenness of your heart. All you need to do is open up your heart and pray your broken hallelujah. There is gold in you waiting to be discovered.