In the warm, autumn sun, the farm is alive with life! The dew glistens on the flowers and the pumpkins, inviting your eye to see the perfection of each creation. Displays are arranged to feature the best of each type of plant, to showcase the cream of the crop. The hustle and bustle of excited children, searching for the perfect carving pumpkin, tugs at your heart and you can’t help but to smile!
In the corner, though, at the edge of the farm, out of direct sunlight, and just about as hidden as they can be, there are pots of chrysanthemums, seeming out of place. Are they extras? Are they pre-purchased? Why not display them with the others? The question is asked, and the answer seems surprising: “They are broken.” To most, these are undesirable, imperfect, not suitable. But every now and again, I think we need to look beyond the exterior perfection, to find the beauty in brokenness.
Broken – not “impossible to sell”, just “damaged, imperfect” and so the farmer was willing to take less money. But, isn’t that the chance you take with a plant? That it may die, or that it may break? Or that the frost will claim it a little too early? Three broken mums were less than the price of one small, perfect mum, and so we chose the three we wanted.
Broken. Wanted. Imperfect. Chosen.
Claimed. Tended. Flourishing.
Isn’t that how it is when Jesus looks at us? In our own strength, we are broken, imperfect, deeply flawed. Yet when God sent Jesus to earth, He wasn’t sending Him to look for the perfect. He was sent for the needy, the hurting, those with a heart to hear His words, the imperfect.
And if we’re honest, that’s all of us – we are all imperfect, needing Jesus. Some of us may stand off to the side, others may be tucked away behind the fence, or hidden in the shadows.
Those mums that were featured, though, put out as the best and the brightest? They have just as much of a chance of being broken, damaged, or deeply flawed if not properly cared for. There’s no guarantee that they will flourish – not without proper care.
And Jesus comes along, and He looks at us. He sees our imperfections, He finds us out of the way. He seeks us, broken and damaged as we may be, hiding because we don’t measure up, and He claims us.
Claimed by Jesus.
Bought with a price.
Our salvation cost His life. He saw such value in us – whether we were the featured, lovely-looking life, or the hidden, damaged life – that He paid the price for us.
And He takes us, tends our wounds, our battle-weary hearts, places His perfect protection on us, and we are His.
We are claimed by the only One able to mend our mess. We are tended by the only One able to make us into what we ought to be, and we flourish because we are loved by the One who can find beauty in our brokenness.