Filling the Cracks


– Andy Wade –

Every day as I walk my dog up to the park to play Frisbee I step over a large crack in the road. I’ve noticed that the crack isn’t getting any bigger, but it is filling up with life. Walking over this crack has turned into a daily meditation on life and living. It reminded me of a recent post from Christine Sine, “stay close to the cracks” In that post she says:…in the cracks, the broken places of our lives, where violence flares and pain cries out that healing happens. When we acknowledge imperfections, we take the first step towards wholeness. It is into the cracks that light can shine and water can seep. It is in the cracks in the concrete that seeds can lodge, germinate and take root. And as green shoots reach for the sky, the crack enlarges, the concrete crumbles and what was meant to live and breathe thrives once more.

What’s caught my imagination is that in this particular crack, even during our three-month stretch with no measurable rain, grass was growing. Deep in that crack there was moisture feeding growth to this tenacious plant.

Much of our summer was spent in the mid-90 degree range which means this asphalt was hot! And yet here was this grass, not just growing, but thriving! I watched as it stretched itself out to continue filling the crack. Not satisfied with staying put in the brokenness it found itself in, this plant reached forward, ever growing, moving, expanding its life and vitality.

I began reflecting on how easy it is for me to get stuck in the cracks of my life. If I don’t try to cover them up, hide them from view, I often allow them to limit what I think I can accomplish. Yet my daily lesson on the way to the park was a constant reminder that I can choose to stay put, or I can choose to stretch forward, filling more of the brokenness with new life.

Deep in the cracks of our lives there is nourishment. Unlike cracks in the pavement which weaken its structure, the cracks in our lives have the potential to make us stronger, wiser, and more compassionate toward others. But this can only happen if we slow down enough to listen, to learn, to enter into those fractured areas of our lives and discover God’s presence.

I’m reminded of the old Irish hymn attributed to St. Patrick, St. Patrick’s Breastplate, part of which proclaims:

Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

As I reflect on this crack beneath my feet I am reminded that, even in the cracks (or perhaps especially), Christ is not only beneath me, feeding my soul, Christ is:

  • Behind me, as I notice the healing that’s already taken place
  • Beneath me, continuing to nourish my healing and growth
  • Before me, inviting me into newness even when that pathway requires me to traverse my own continued brokenness.
  • Above me, light shining down energizing and illuminating the way ahead.
  • Even in the often painful fractures of life, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort me, Christ to restore me.
  • In all these things and all these ways and more, Christ be with me!

Where are the fractures in your life and how is God calling you to burst through them with new life?