The year everything broke

The year everything broke January 27, 2017
the year everything broke
It all broke this year

All of us live in the tensions between creation and re-creation. Nothing is stasis or particularly stable or immune from breaking.


Last night, the dishwasher broke. (The repair service showed up promptly, fixed the problem but indicated that the fix is only temporary–we will be needing to replace it soon).

Before that:

  • The new coffee grinder quit working (replaced with excellent customer service by DeLonghi)
  • The new and barely used vacuum cleaner quit working (replaced with excellent customer service by Bissell)
  • A barely used Brother laser printer broke (seriously bad customer service on the part of Brother: don’t buy one)
  • My three-year-old Samsung computer is grinding to a sad halt (Why should I expect something different from Samsung?)
  • The back door on the Suburban refused to open (fixed at considerable cost by the dealership where we found out the GM has no intention of replacing the 10-year-old Takata airbags that explode without warning that inhabit our vehicle).
  • The United Methodist Church broke. Although technically, we are still “united” the fracture has become so deep that a split is inevitable–this became clear at the 2016 General Conference.
  • The United States broke. Because of the deep divide among US citizens surfaced by this election, I personally would not be surprised to see both massive civil disobedience especially by people in states on the Atlantic and Pacific coasts. It appears that DJT will continue to live in a universe of falsehoods (alternative facts!!!), act to suppress the free press, make life as difficult as possible for poor women, and impose economic sanctions on those states for their position in welcoming refugees.

The tension between creation and re-creation

The thing is: all this is normal, human, and should be expected. We’re all moving three steps forward, two back–or two steps forward, three back. It just happens. Stuff breaks. Relationships break. Institutions break. Nations break.

All of us live in the tensions between creation and re-creation. Nothing is stasis or particularly stable or immune from breaking. The earth wobbles on its axis. Galaxies collide with each other. Stars are born–and eventually implode and start all over again.

The options before us in a “broke” world

What do we do?

Face all in front of us with integrity.

Stop name-calling and stay firm in truth-telling. We can name evil as evil and never suggest that evil is good. We can affirm the good and be willing to pay a price to stay on the side ofgood or bad person good.

Resist tyranny and untruths. We should stop purchasing poorly-built products and reinforce the companies that build quality products.

Support the free press by subscribing to their publications, knowing it costs a great deal of money to fund highly trained investigative reporters.

Be the church. We can still follow Jesus all the way to the cross, into death and then the joy of resurrection. We can open our doors to the stranger, to the poor and stru
ggling, to our enemies so they may be loved into friendship.

Savor sunshine and pleasure, friends and family, work and play.

March and say “NO!” to oppression and lies. We can persist in speaking out even when faced with arrest and persecution.

However, we CANNOT assume that the worst won’t happen to us, that we are in some way protected. But we can find the courage to face it.

Yep, the year everything broke. Now let us find the year when we start the process yet once more of re-creation. That’s our job as the people of God.

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