I Am (Not) Invincible

I Am Invincible
by Cassadee Pope

“Broken glass inside
Won’t cut through me
Pain behind my eyes
I turn into strength
Oh I will fight
I will survive
I am invincible
I am unbreakable
I am a diamond cut to last
I am unstoppable
I am a hero
Like a phoenix from the ash
Invincible
Cracks run through these walls
But they still stand strong
Oh, heart covered in scars
But my fear is gone
Oh I will fight
I will survive
I am invincible
I am unbreakable
I am a diamond cut to last
I am unstoppable
I am a hero
Like a phoenix from the ash
Nothin’ gonna make me break or shatter
No one’s gonna tell me I don’t matter, no
I won’t let you
Time is runnin’ out, keeps gettin’ faster
Gotta find a way, to rewrite the answers
‘Till I can say
I am invincible
I am unbreakable
I am a diamond that will last
Invincible”

The lyrics above are to a catchy song, and one that part of me identifies with. I like to believe, and act as though, I am invincible. Wonder Woman is who all young girls should aspire to be, right? Invincible, unbreakable — this is what it means to be strong and tough. Diamond is the hardest naturally occurring substance on Earth. That seems like a great description, right? The epitome of strength.  Previously, I was proud of the fact that I didn’t cry at books, movies, or tv shows during the saddest parts; it showed how invincible I was.  And yet, I wonder.

Is that really how I want to be? Diamonds might be strong, and beautiful, but they are also cold and sharp. Something (or someone) that is invincible has no weaknesses.  Watch any movie that has a hero and a villain.  The villain seeks out the weakness of the hero, usually someone the hero cares for, and exploits that weakness.  If I have no weakness, if I am truly invincible, then nothing and no one is close enough to hurt me. I’m cold and distant from everyone and everything around me. That’s the only way to avoid being broken — close off your heart from anyone and anything. Don’t care, don’t love.

C.S. Lewis wrote,

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

To love is to be vulnerable.  To love is to be breakable.

Did you notice the line in the song that says, “cracks run through these walls/but they still stand strong”?  Kintsugi is the Japanese art of repairing broken ceramics with a special lacquer mixed with gold, silver, or platinum.  Mixing in the precious metal causes the piece to become more beautiful for being broken.  The places where the object fell apart become the most beautiful when repaired.

This is the hope and glory of the gospel.  That God takes broken things and mends them in such a way that they become more beautiful.  He takes something (or someone) cold, rough, and sharp, and exposes the weaknesses.  His strength is displayed in those vulnerable places.

For me, this involved a lot of pain.  Parts of my heart that were damaged didn’t heal correctly the first time.  Instead of repairing the cracks and making the broken places beautiful, I shored them up to become harder trying to prevent the pain from happening again.  And just like a broken bone that doesn’t heal correctly needs to be re-broken and reset, God did the same with those parts of my heart.  Instead of allowing the impervious parts to remain, the sharp, rough places that I thought had no feeling, He reopened those wounds.  He provided brothers and sisters who have lovingly walked with me as He has healed those broken places, and done so in such a way that they are now tender and warm and feeling.  The light shone in the darkness, and continues to do so.  I know what it is to be broken, but I also know what it is to be healed, and to be repaired in such a way that the once broken places are now more beautiful.

How is it that He can do this?  Why would He do this?  Because of other wounds which were inflicted to someone else.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon
him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we
are 
healed.  ~Isaiah 53:5

He can bind up my wounds and heal my broken heart, because of the wounds of Christ.  His wounds made it possible for broken people like me to boldly approach the throne of grace. He made possible the grace and mercy and love which has healed my broken heart.  It is because of Him that the cracks are beautiful, for they display that

“we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.”  2 Corinthians 4:7

I am not invincible.  Yet, it is in being broken and healed that His power is displayed through me.

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