Bethel International United Methodist Church
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Go to your Broken Place to Prepare for Lent

On February 22 with Ash Wednesday we start on 40-day “countdown to Easter” (not including Sundays). It’s a 40-day walk of brokenness that ends with restoration to new life and a forever tomorrow. It exposes our hurts and clever disguises, so that we can find a different set of clothes that hang in our heavenly closets.

On January 15 I sat in on the last part of a Sunday night youth group meeting where some of the kids were having shown favorite YouTube clips that had powerfully impacted their lives. One I haven’t been able to get out of my own head was called “My Broken Palace.”

In it a young artist approaches a blank canvas and begins to cover it in purple paint. He splotches on yellow around the exterior and I wonder what’s in his mind’s eye. He then paints in black at the top the letters W H Y. Then “love” and “me” at the bottom.

In the center and in smaller letters he writes: anger, cut, depression, worthless, apathy, hurt, helpless, broken, unloved, ugly, disgusting, pathetic and suicide.

Then in the very center and over some of the other words, he paints in bigger letters: ALONE. I’m still not sure where he’s going with all of this.

Next in the center of the canvas he paints the outline of a heart around all of his painful words. He then moves to the upper right hand corner and writes “Because.” That was followed underneath it going down the right side: “he.” Then under that the word “first” (and he underlines it). He then paints a “d” on the end of LOVE at bottom.

He paints an arrow over to the word “me” from “loved.” Then a second arrow. And a third. Then with red paint he outlines each letter of word LOVED.

Next he squirts red paint into the fingers of his left hand and watches it drip into his palm. He then starts smearing the red with his finger into the center of the heart, covering all the words that were killing him. What was left was the black outline of the heart totally filled in with red. He then stepped back and looked at the canvas (pictured below).

I had finally figured it out. It was the message of John 4:19.

The video itself was from a non-profit organization called My Broken Palace, who
feels that “no one should ever have to deal with the crushing weight of loneliness, depression, anxiety, abuse, addictions, or thoughts of suicide alone.”

Jesus knows the brokenness we carry. That’s why he walked that lonesome
Lenten valley. That’s why we never need to feel alone. But it’s also why we need
to take that 40-day journey to again shed the cocoons of our past year’s sinful
build-up. It will make Easter an even more exhilarating day.

P.S. Watch this 7½ minute video at: