Welcome to the blog of author Marlo Schalesky!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Beauty in Brokenness

Hi Friends,

This week I had a lovely anniversary celebration with my husband of 31 years. The picture is of the flowers he brought me. They are gorgeous and smell heavenly. He also bought me a funny card.

But even though anniversaries are times of celebration, I can't say that every moment of marriage has been filled with wonder and joy. There have been hard times, hurts, disappointments, difficulties, and darkness.

And yet, here we are, 31 years later, happy to be married to each other despite all the ups and downs.

When I ponder that reality, I'm reminded of a story of surf pounding on rocks. No matter if Bryan and I have been in an easy phase of marriage or a difficult one, we have always thrown ourselves on the mercy and goodness of God.

And so, it has become something like this ...

Surf on the Rocks


Marlo Schalesky


            I sat on a large boulder at the beach and watched the waves crash against the rocky shore.  Beyond, the sun shone on the black water.  It glinted, then drowned in the dark expanse of water.  I turned back to the surf as it pounded against the rocks, splashed over them, glittered with myriad colors.  
            A huge outcropping of rock towered over the waves.  Again and again the surf beat against it, throwing itself against the craggy surface, withdrawing, only to do it again.  And again. And again.
            With relentless persistence, the water broke against the rock.  And still the rock didn’t move.  Only the water changed.  Shattered. Molded to the shape of the stone.
            I wrapped my arms around my knees and drew my legs close to my chest.  My gaze fell on the surf again.  On the strange color of greenish black. 
            Until it crashed against the rock.
            I sat back and watched the water splash 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.
            Paul quotes Isaiah 8:14 in Romans 9:33 (NIV), saying, “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.’"
            Jesus is my Rock.  He is One I fall on, cast myself upon, just like the water throws itself against the rock.  And I wondered, was I like the surf?  Is it only when I am broken on Jesus 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 God can do that.
            Too many times I’ve heard people say to “just have faith.”  To them, I think it means to never doubt, never struggle, never be broken.              
            But as I sat there at the water’s edge, I began to see that real faith, true faith, is the kind that casts itself against the rock. 
            In being broken, we become beautiful. 
            Because faith - true faith - keeps coming back, despite the darkness, despite the hurt.  Faith arcs up from brokenness.  It clings to the rock.  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.