The golden grassy head of a reed stem blowing in the wind.

He will not crush the weakest reed or put out a flickering candle…… Matthew 12:20

Sometimes we need a reality check.   Sometimes we fall for our own propaganda.  Sometimes we just need to sit at the feet of Jesus long enough, still enough, to cease striving to live up to our own warped image of ourself.   Sometimes, no often, we need to give ourselves permission to admit we don’t have it all together and quite probably never will.  And then we need to understand, in our deepest places, that’s actually OK. 

God is profoundly attracted to brokenness.


I saw You cup your hands

Around a fading flame

And gently breathe it back to life

And crown it with your name

I heard You whisper love songs

Of promises unbroken

And sing upon that fragile flame

‘Till its fire was awoken


I saw You hold a dying reed

Bent low upon its knees

And blow upon its crippled heart

A soft and tender breeze

You kissed its ancient bruises

And lifted up its face

‘Till sorrow bowed to mercy

And death gave way to grace


It’s I who am that smouldering flame

I too, the wounded reed,

I am the flawed, the spent, the crushed

I am all who break and bleed

A prisoner of my brokenness

I lay me down to die

To finish what I did not start

To sleep and never rise


But You refuse to dim this flame

Though it waivers in the storm

And You withhold to break this reed

That’s weatherworn and torn

So let this flame be fragile

And this reed be tossed and blown

And let brokenness surrender

To Love that won’t let go

© Cheryl McGrath, Bread for the Bride, 2015 and beyond.   Copyright Notice: Permission is granted to freely reproduce any Bread for the Bride articles in emails or internet blogs, unaltered, and providing this copyright notice is included.     To permanently display an article on any static website please contact me for permission.

10 thoughts on “Awakening

  1. Embracing brokenness is something the Lord has been impressing on me for years. It is such a struggle for us. We so want to be right; we want to be something. Everything in us resists letting Jesus be the I am, the all in all. God bless 🙂


    • Hi Teague. Yes, I agree, we don’t want to embrace the brokenness the Lord necessarily brings into our lives in order to mould us in His own image. But there’s another kind of brokenness – those who have been broken by sin in their own lives or the lives of others, or by life circumstances in some way or another. He didn’t come to snuff out their last bit of hope by condemning these ones or telling them to get their act together or giving them a set of rules they can’t possibly follow. So often this is what we do in religion. Too often we as Christians are afraid of other people’s brokenness and our immediate response is to start preaching answers at them, but Jesus just loves them in their brokenness and if they respond He becomes their answer. I have found we as Christians (and I include myself) are not very good at understanding this. We have missed something vital in the way we share Christ. But the good news is He’s changing our hearts from stone to flesh. You are appreciated!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, we tend to fear brokenness, shortcomings, or failure of any kind. We treat them as barriers to God’s power & work rather than seeing them as opportunities for God to bring life out of death. We preach morals or “doing it right” instead of the One who died & rose again 🙂


      • Yes, and we do it to ourselves also. Trying to be ‘all things to all people’ (including ourselves!). That’s the place the poem came from….realising I too am one of the broken, and it’s OK 🙂 Embracing brokenness, as you so aptly put it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful poem and post! Yes, God gives us an awakening and a life worth living! I am reminded of John 10:10, “… I have come that they may have life and have it to the full.”


      • Mine too… for obvious reasons (the theme of hope for my blog)! I planted bulbs for the first time last fall, but they did not do well. Some green shoots and one lonely flower. I am going to try again this fall. I hear that they are hard to get started.


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