• Beth Hildebrand

What is the Purpose of Broken Fractions?

This mother has become tired as the piano music quietly plays on my lap and the kids and husband are fast asleep. I’m tired from all the running and wrestling…but running and wrestling help tone and shape who you are.

Although I should have been running for exercise, today I was running the mini-van engine. I was running around to get things checked off my list, running to school to watch my son run on the soccer field for the much needed last soccer game this season, and running off to my daughter’s school and seeing her run excitedly into the gym to join her friends to cheer on two of their other friends as they perform in the talent show.

Those are all good things, don’t get me wrong.

But once home, where the running slowed down, the wrestling began. Wrestling with a migraine and hunger and exhaustion elevated the intensity of the fight with our daughter’s math homework still needing to complete because it was due the next day.

Fractions.


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After several attempts trying to explain fractions and mother’s little patience by this time of this crazy day, my daughter cries out-loud the lies of failure as her hands cover her tears. Her heart is wrestling with lies. And mom is crying out for her not to believe them.

A fraction is a broken number that represents a part or parts of something considered as a whole. The term ‘fraction’ is from the Latin word ‘fractus’ meaning ‘broken’.

I began to think how easy it is to feel brokenness when our lives are broken into many fractions, or fragments, longing to feel whole.

But brokenness is how we should want to feel because only then can we feel wholeness through Christ. Only then is when we must cling instead of run in circles going no where. Only then is when must desperately depend on Him instead of the lies that we believe.

And as strong as I think I need to be as a mom, wife and friend, I need to be sweetly broken.

Ann Voskamp wrote, “Only when you’re broken are you tender enough to wrap yourself around anyone. Only the broken people can really embrace.”

This mama wants to be a broken one who wraps her arms around her growing-up-too-fast babies who must live in a broken world.

This child wants to be a broken one who embraces the promise of wholeness, and not believe she can be reduced to inadequacy and failure.

This daughter, who can so easily put on many different masks, wants to be a broken one who doesn’t have to wear a mask at all.

Jesus knows all about brokenness. He, the perfect Man, longed to be with broken people. He loved to laugh and give and love and break bread with and for others. At his last meal, Jesus broke the bread into fragments and gave them to his dear friends with his purpose of breaking to make us whole.

“When we drink the cup of blessing, aren’t we taking into ourselves the blood, the very life, of Christ? And isn’t it the same with the loaf of bread we break and eat? Don’t we take into ourselves the body, the very life, of Christ? Because there is one loaf, our many-ness becomes one-ness—Christ doesn’t become fragmented in us. Rather, we become unified in him. We don’t reduce Christ to what we are; he raises us to what he is. “(The Message) 1 Corinthians 10:16-18


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This what seems like a small fragment of life is part of His whole story. A fraction is a broken number but is still really part of a whole. We are broken people but still part of God’s redemptive wholeness.

Let us always remember that God uses all the brokenness and fragments in our lives to make us wholly beautiful.


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