broken bodies, resurrected buildings: beauty of a day unplanned

‘Our photographs capture the spirit of the in-between of the place as it rests between stages, neglected and keeping its secrets’

We find you under a bridge. ‘Amazon’ – utterly vulnerable despite your best efforts. Your discomfort with your vulnerability clashed hard with your desire to expose it. The exposure at once celebrated its perfect beauty and the the strength of your heart. The light bounces off the strongest ridge – that curved upside down V between your ribcage. Womanhood. It was irresistible and made me ache for you.

Broken beauty. Brokenness is so much more interesting – so much more interesting than the ‘whole’ seemingly together ones. Possibilities are endless – even perfection is imagineable, and you are re-imagined for how you could be – how you will be. This possibility made you perfect right now, in your brokenness. Your courage in engaging with your vulnerability was beautiful.

The photographs of a Victorian workhouse which became a mental hospital and has now become derelict, soon to be owned as a community land trust to provide affordable housing for locals. Resurrection and regeneration coming to life (literally). A crown of beauty instead of ashes. The oil of joy instead of mourning.

There is a surprising charm in dereliction and decay – nature starts to take over and its strength, its beauty, its creativity are freed to burst forth. A sense of expectation. Grass emerges through cracks in concrete – (the soil was always underneath anyway, had you forgotten?) Maybe we all need those times. To leave derelict our busy buildings and allow nature to spring through cracks as it wills, and see what new inspiration and life come of it. That can’t happen if we keep things perfectly manicured. Things need to be less than perfect, a bit messy, a bit wild. We’ll see what gets left behind too, and what does that mean?

Space to breathe. Space to be fed by Abba himself. And your food is sweeter than honey.

You LOVE the entirety of our lives, the art, the marvelling at ideas, the creative things which make our minds whirr and shows new facets of You, reminding us of how high and wide and deep Your love actually is – and so deepens our love. I am sorry I had boxed you into places, people and ways of being.

Really felt you tell me as I gazed on brokenness and resurrection that’s how we are . The more broken we are, if we choose to look to you in that the more potential there is for you to re-imagine us and how beautiful will that be – empty of ourselves, yet full of grace. Like jars of clay, such beauty through the cracks.

And help me to remember that in reality, brokenness is messy, uncomfortable, less than attractive. The body-artist told her that in deciding where the cracks would go she thought carefully about where to place them – because she knows there’s only so much ‘cracking’ we can take before it becomes offensive and uncomfortable  Yet in real life, we cant decide where the cracks go.

I’ve been challenged to pray for grace that I’d be okay with the reality of brokenness – and in others and myself – stemming from the knowledge that nothing of our ugly brokenness is too repulsive for You to deal with, as You dealt with all of it on the repulsive, all-encompassing and finishing Cross. It’s only possible because of the hope of resurrection – new life, bursting through the messy, less than perfect and wild cracks.

It makes me well up to think about this afresh, such amazing grace. So true that we love only because You loved us first.

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