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Broken, but perfect

08.19.16 | Belong: disABILITY Ministry | by Allyson Wermelskirchen

Broken, but perfect

    Our effects in ministry are always immeasurable, the fruits of our labor ever intangible, but every now and then the power of the Holy Spirit working in us is nothing short of palpable.

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    It’s often hard to see the depth to which our unique gifts are being used. When one of your foremost gifts and tools in ministry is something as abstract as poetry, you learn to become more vulnerable than you knew you even could be. Our effects in ministry are always immeasurable, the fruits of our labor ever intangible, but every now and then the power of the Holy Spirit working in us is nothing short of palpable.

    A few weeks ago I was invited to participate in a bi-monthly event called Sibshop where the siblings of children with special needs get to spend a few hours among a group of their peers. The goal is to provide them with support and education, all while having a little fun. During this particular Sibshop, I was asked to do a poetry workshop.

    Let’s get one thing clear: the word “poetry” is not a popular one among kids (especially when it means that game time is over). Most people, kids included, fall under one or more of the following schools of thought when it comes to poetry:

    a. poetry is boring

    b. poetry is antiquated

    c. there is not one poetic bone in my body.

    When I lead poetry workshops, I aim to destroy each of these preconceived notions. Not only is poetry awesome and can be fresh and new and exciting, it is also something literally anybody can do.

    I began the workshop by sharing a poem about creativity before giving them a short summary of my writing process, doing my best to convince them that truly everyone is creative and capable of poetic expression. After a quick tutorial, I turned them loose to create their own poems.

    They regrouped and shared the poems they had written. They were in large part very silly, but their pride and excitement in their work was encouraging. My objective for the workshop was to teach them a skill to help express themselves, and with that in mind I left feeling like it had been a fun afternoon, but not altogether confident that I had achieved my goal. 

    A few hours later, I received a thank you email from Karen Gilmore who directed the event. Included in her email were the lyrics to a poem that had not been shared for the group at large. The poem was written by a young man to his brother with special needs. It read:

    ‘Samuel,

    You are needy but independent

    crippled but strong,

    broken but perfect.

    You break all limits

    despite challenges.

    I need you to be you, so that I can be me.'

    It’s often hard to see the depth to which our unique gifts are being used. I would never have guessed that something this powerful would come out of my workshop that day.

    These lyrics are written by a little boy who was made in the image of a creative God, and the reflection of God is so vivid in his words. When I read these lyrics, I was brought to tears by the love this little boy has for his brother. The way he was able to express himself through poetry so clearly and powerfully affirmed that God truly is using me for his glory in unique and beautiful ways.

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