Sometimes the word broken can create a picture in one’s mind of a thing that is beyond repair—a shattered window, a broken vase—things, that if we tried to fix them will never be restored to their pre-broken state. Glue on glass just doesn’t do it.

Sometimes the word broken can refer to something that is currently unusable —a broken down car, a snow blower—things that need a new part installed to replace faulty pieces that have gone bad.

Sometimes the word broken can refer to relationship dynamics—lack of communication, lack of understanding, inabilities to see eye-to-eye, lack of respect—things that with counsel and prayer *could* potentially be restored, but not always.

Sometimes we seem something as “broken” when it has been neglected—an abandoned house, old barns along the highway, a rusty cast iron skillet.

I actually really love cast iron. It’s the only type of skillet I own. I have multiple ones for different uses—one for eggs, one for meat, one for pancakes and quesadillas, and other meals. And a tiny little one as the spoon holder on top of my stove.

When Rick and I first got married, we discovered an old giant cast iron skillet in his parents’ basement that been largely neglected over the course of 30 or more years. It was dirty, rusty and covered in cobwebs, crud and burnt-on grime. Thinking it was beyond rescue, it had been stashed away many years prior.

Until I saw it. And let me tell you I was excited to see what I could do with this beauty.

I brought it home and began the restoration process.  I cleaned it, scrubbed it with a coarse salt to remove rust and grime, boiled water in it, removed more layers of grime, seasoned it with oil, heated it to set it in, seasoned it with oil again, heated it to set it in and repeated the process until it became black, shiny and smooth. In its restored state: It. Is. Beautiful—my biggest and best cast iron skillet yet.

Broken doesn’t always mean beyond repair. Broken doesn’t always mean throw out the old and get a new one. When we see a broken world, when we hear that Jesus can fix broken things, I don’t see Him casting it away or just replacing a broken part.

I see Him spotting an old and rusty cast iron. I see Him saying, “Oh! I love it! Because I created it, I know the process to cleanse, shine and restore, to bring it back to a beautiful and useful state.”

“Because I created her, I know how to restore her. Because I created Him, I know how to claim and bring him back to beauty.”

He knows.

He knows what is beaten and stashed away in an old box in the basement.

He is familiar with rust.

He is familiar with cobwebs.

He knows about crud and grime and 30 year old dust.

He’s not afraid to go after it and claim it and take it home.

He’s excited to restore us back and show the world what all He can do.

If you come to my house, I’ll probably show you my giant cast iron and tell you the story of how I brought it back to life.

Leah Carolan
Director of Worship & Media


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