Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Jesus takes our ragged edges and mends us into something beautiful
Part 2 of an interview with Cynthia Ruchti,
Author of Tattered and Mended
Artisans can reclaim exquisite beauty from the broken, frayed, and hopelessly shattered, perhaps once thought beyond repair. But what about us? What of the scares and broken places we hide inside? What of the wounds that keep us from living the life we want to live? Can our tattered souls ever be mended?
In Tattered and Mended (Abingdon Press), author Cynthia Ruchti offers an invitation to think about soul-mending as a divine art form, to show us that God doesn’t just heal wounded souls, he heals artfully.
With a gentle touch and personable wisdom, Ruchti offers hope for your own broken pieces. She opens the door to a gallery of the reclaimed and restored, reflects on a tapestry of stories not unlike your own, and helps readers discover that even the most threadbare soul can once again find healing and hope.
Q: Tell us about a time in your life when you felt tattered and in need of mending.
In Tattered and Mended, I mention a period of time that brought me to my knees — or even lower than that. When Lyme disease was a fairly “new” disease, as far as the general public was concerned, I had the dubious honor of being one of the first in my area of Wisconsin to contract it. It crept in stealthily, one symptom at a time. It was a year and a half before we knew what was causing the relentless headaches, heart-rhythm problems, debilitating pain in joints and muscles and a dozen other symptoms. I had young children, a ministry that taxed my energies and an at-that-time unknown disease that raged through my body. It reduced me to a lump of fatigue, uncertainty, concern and an emotional drain that left me shredded. I plowed through because I had no other choice and because I’d learned God is faithful and capable even when our strength is completely gone.
Q: Humans try to heal themselves by slapping a bandage on the wound. How does God heal differently?
He does nothing carelessly or unintentionally. We can search diligently and not find a place in His Word where He decides, “Eh, that’s good enough.” He’s a God of excellence, trustworthiness and thoughtfulness. We can look to creation for confirmation that He is a master at details. He doesn’t settle for utilitarian purpose only. He goes beyond workable to beautiful.
Q: Why do you think many people remain in a broken state?
Some of us have come to expect too little. We think we don’t deserve anything more than where we now stand in the healing process. On the other hand, we may expect too much, growing bitter if the mending doesn’t happen as quickly as we imagine, in the way we imagine or with the results we envision. That bitterness is counterproductive to the healing we need and creates self-imposed setbacks.
Still others are broken and don’t yet know God cares they are hurting. They don’t yet know they’re mendable. I ache for them.
We could talk about that for a long time and not exhaust the topic. The thoughts that come instantly to my mind are these:
· He never performed a half-miracle. He always brought complete healing. Leprous skin as smooth as a newborn’s. Full sight. Not just the lame walking, but dancing. He anticipates the need and the side effects for others when we emerge fully mended.
· He used an incredibly wide variety of methods to heal. Why should we expect our mending to look just like someone else’s?
· He seems to delight in tackling what others find impossible. He finds nothing intimidating, not even emotional or physical traumas that would send others fleeing. Our tatters are not beyond His abilities.
Q: Many people don’t find wholeness because they can’t let go of hurt and resentment. Why is forgiveness so closely tied to emotional freedom?
Unforgiveness keeps us trapped in a state that is not a great environment for healing. Wounds can’t heal well in unsanitary conditions. Unforgiveness is spiritually unsanitary, and while it may seem natural, it isn’t healthy.
Q: How do you hope this book will offer strength and hope to those who are going through a difficult circumstance?
It’s one thing to believe God can make us better on a soul-deep level. It’s another to understand His intention is to make artwork from our messes and distresses. Like a master artist, He takes broken bits and frayed threads and mends us so thoroughly we can’t unravel, and the result is a thing of beauty.
Q: What do you mean when you say you’re an “observer-writer”?
Some write as experts on their subject of choice. I write from a place of listening and observing, then I attempt to express what others feel but can’t find a way to put into words.
To keep up with Cynthia Ruchti, visit www.cynthiaruchti.com. You can also become a fan on Facebook (Cynthia Ruchti) or follow her on Twitter (@cynthiaruchti).