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If I had my way of doing racial reconciliation, I would have to follow this verse of the Bible:  "My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart you, God, will not despise." Psalm 51:17. 

To me this means that I must be painstakingly convinced of my misery and danger by sin, which I spare no cost to obtain the forgiveness of it. A broken spirit and a contrite heart are those in which sorrow and affliction have done their work, and the stubbornness of pride has been replaced by the humility of penitence. 

Sometimes we find ourselves so deeply broken that we don’t know how things could ever be restored. 

Pride is not always expressed as a negative quality in the scriptures. It can carry a positive meaning of self-worth, self-respect, and self-confidence.  However, pride can become sinful when it is excessively self-focused and elevating oneself in one's own mind is not healthy to a community, or church. This kind of pride is what most often appears in the scriptures. The biblical sin of pride refers to a high or exalted attitude—the opposite of the strengths of humility, which is the appropriate attitude people ought to have with God. Humbling oneself is hard; however, having a broken spirit, is a necessary part of repentance and reconciliation. 

Every one of us has some sort of brokenness in our past. Perhaps we have grieved from a broken heart, gone through trauma,  lost relationships, loss of health or experienced racism. Whether it’s from choices we have made or circumstances beyond our control, sometimes we find ourselves so deeply broken that we don’t know how things could ever be restored. 

I have faced some serious moments of brokenness in my life. There were points where the pieces of me were so destroyed that they were shattered like a broken clay vessel. Alcohol had taken over my life.  With a broken heart and no hope, I was ready to end it all. And I tried. 

God pick up the repairs the brokenness in our lives and makes us more beautiful through the process. 

God intervened at that point. Accepting God into my life changed everything.  He created a new person. Every time I suffer another break, He fills in the cracks with His love and life. God restores me and makes me complete. 

He lovingly scooped up the pieces of my broken spirit and carefully put the shattered piece back together like a Japanese art called kintsugi, where one repairs broken pottery with gold bonding.  

Kintsugi is the art of bonding something that has been broken with the understanding that the object is more beautiful because it has been broken. Like the art of kintsugi, God pick up the repairs the brokenness in our lives and makes us more beautiful through the process. 

Similarly, life can shatter us and leave us feeling damaged and feeling less than, however in reality, God driven transformation and healing can lead to the best version of ourselves. You are not broken. You are beautifully whole in God. 

Some people have described their Hearts Exchanged experiences as hearts-broken practicing the humility and beauty that Richard describes here.  Learn more and consider participating in a cohort or as a church.

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