Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Broken ... and Beautiful

Hi Friends,

I spent some time with good friend, Kelli Standish in Capitola, CA a couple weeks ago. While we were there, we spent some time watching the ocean -- huge greenish-gray waves, tiny specks that were surfers, and the giant crash-and-wonder of the surf casting itself on the rocks.

As we watched, I was reminded of an analogy that I used in my novel, If Tomorrow Never Comes. We are like the dark waves, and Jesus is the Rock. Read on to soak up more of this idea in devotional form (complete with a fun activity suggestion at the end!)


by Marlo Schalesky

As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.”

Romans 9:33 (NIV)

I sat on a large boulder at the beach and watched the waves crash against the rocky shore. The surf pounded against the rocks, splashed over them, glittered with myriad colors.

I studied the waves and felt their brokenness. I was broken too, by prayers that seemed unanswered, dreams that died, hurts that went too deep for words. I was like the water, crashing up against the immovable rock of God’s will. All my tears, all my frustrations, all the disappointments, like dark, murky waves in my soul.

My gaze fell on the surf again. On the strange color of greenish black. It, too, was dark and ugly.

Until it crashed against the rock.

Spray splashed up in an arc of pure, clean white. Then, it changed, reflecting a rainbow of color from the sunlight. And for that moment, it wasn’t dark. It wasn’t murky. It was stunningly beautiful. But only when it was broken on the rocks.

And I wondered, was I like the surf? Is it only when I am broken on Jesus, my Rock, that I reflect the light, shine with a rainbow of colors? Perhaps it is then that I am able to be molded in his shape, just like the water molds to the shape of the stone when falls back to the rock. Then, the darkness is cleansed, the ugliness transformed, the water beautiful to behold.

Only Jesus can do that.

As I sat there at the water’s edge, I began to see that real faith, true faith, doesn’t mean never doubting, never struggling, never being broken. Rather, true faith casts itself against the Rock. It keeps coming back, despite the darkness, despite the hurt. Faith arcs up from brokenness. It surrenders to the will of the immovable stone, and so it is transformed into a thing of wonder and beauty.

Only in brokenness can it be filled with color and light.

SUGGESTED ACTIVITY: Place a rock under a running faucet and observe the way the water changes to conform to the shape of the rock. Then, set the rock in a prominent place as a reminder of how Jesus can transform your brokenness into beauty.