Friday, September 28, 2012

Explanation: Must You Break Me Before You Fix Me?

First of all, it is important when reading poetry to realize that the title is as important as the piece itself.  When someone titles their poem, they are giving you the context within which to understand everything that follows.
Secondly, I am explaining these poems in the order I wrote them.  I posted them in the opposite order because I thought they were easier to swallow that way.  Interesting that the emotions became easier to handle as I wrote.  I guess that's why writing is therapeutic for me.

What is being said in the title of this piece?  Despite feelings of brokenness and a lack of answers, God's ultimate goal is always to make us whole in Christ.  He is in the work of fixing us, even if that first requires some breaking.  He must break what is in order to create what will be.

What is written in bold italics in the lines of the poem itself.  Normal font indicates explanation.
Is it possible to be broken beyond repair? 
The pit of my stomach's become a lump in my throat.
I can't swallow as the chills fill my body.
Is this forever?  Am I forever?
I'd rather not be forever
Because it seems like the chasm in my heart
     is growing, not shrinking. 
The poem starts with the haunting question, "Is it possible to be broken beyond repair?".  I was feeling this in the pit of my stomach which resulted in a lump in my throat and chills in my body (literally), and ultimately the statement that I would rather not be forever if eternity will be spent feeling more and more broken and torn rather than less.  Obviously the answer to this is Jesus, but despite knowing that in my head, my heart wasn't feeling it.  I wasn't feeling any wholeness or peace, which led to the next set of lines.

I thought I had the anecdote, but I jumped that boat
Only to jump back in with more questions than answers,
More holes than patches.
Will I sink for eternity, knowing less the more I learn,
Making more but with less to earn?
"The anecdote" meaning the fix to this problem of brokenness.  I thought I knew how to become a whole person, but sitting in this period of darkness and questioning it doesn't seem possible that its true.  So I've "jumped that boat only to jump back in with more questions than answers".  I don't know about you, but there are times in my life, and this was one of them, when I have more questions for God than I feel I have answers.  Like there's more holes in my heart, soul, and mind than there are "patches".  Again, obviously the answer is to do away with the patches and embrace new creation instead.  I don't need to be patched, I need to be made whole.  Which points back to the title "Must you break me before you fix me".  In the end that's the answer (we need God to save us) but this poem isn't about answers, its about brokenness and pain.

Is it me that's broken, or the world around me?
Is it me that's sinking, or the world around me?
Or both

God we need a savior!

This line is meant to be read with an attitude and not as a prayer, much as someone would say "God I need a cigarette".  But that's the irony of the whole poem, we turn to so many things to ease our brokenness, when ultimately we need a savior, and that Savior has been provided.  I must mention, for honesty's sake, that I added the last line when I posted this; it wasn't in my original poem.  Sometimes our emotions are too raw even for poetry....

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