Broken to Beauty

10/09/21Broken to Beauty

Welcome back to Hartford CofE High School, and an especially warm welcome for pupils and staff who are joining us for the first time. This week there have been many ‘firsts’, but a highlight for me was resuming our Collective Worship as we gathered together in the school hall. After 18 months of virtual assemblies, it has been wonderful to gather, see real faces and reactions and join together in worship. Something special happens when a group of individuals come together as one.

In the school Chapel, there is a small mosaic. It was made by some of our pupils on their very first visit to the Chapel, as I asked each of them to place a single piece onto the board. They each carefully selected a piece, maybe for its lustre or colour or shape, and placed it where they felt it belonged.

The result, as you can see, is a beautiful, colourful Cross. However, the meaning behind this work of art is quite significant. The Cross is a constant reminder that on this terrible symbol of Roman torture, the Creator of the world was broken, that we might be made whole.

Just as each mosaic piece has been broken, so we too can often feel very broken and isolated, suffering the effects of the pandemic, loneliness, anxiety, illness and the worries and cares of life. Lockdowns and media focus have added to the increasing isolation and poor mental health that many suffer. However, when we see, like in this mosaic, how when we get alongside others our brokenness can be used to bring healing and beauty. Just as the media will teach us to conform to its image and compare ourselves to others (how dull this would be if each piece were alike), God made us each different and unique, with our own characters and set of gifts with which to compliment and bless the whole of society. Maybe it’s time to stop looking at the individual piece with its non-conformity and broken, jagged edges and stand back to see how God, the Master Craftsman is making something beautiful with each of us as we get alongside and support and include each other.

My prayer at the beginning of this new school year as we begin to re-gather, is that we would celebrate our differences, try new things, and know that we are each precious and have a purpose. As we look to the Cross, where Jesus was broken and died to bring us life, may we know that God is building something more beautiful than we can ever achieve alone. This new school year, may we all stand back to see the bigger picture and our part in it as we work together for good.

“For no eye has seen, no ear has heard and no heart has imagined

what God has prepared for those who love Him.”

1 Corinthians 2:9 The Bible