Our world is broken. We live in a fractured world, where the beautiful can become tainted in a matter of a moment and in moments where it matters. From natural disasters, to rumors of war, to unexplainable attacks on the innocent, it doesn’t take much to realize that things aren’t as they should be.


We must remember that we are living a story. Every story has a beginning, a middle and an end. The beginning of story describes things as they should be. The end of a story shows us how things will be. Yet, the middle indiscriminately exposes us to the way things are. Between “Once upon a time,” and “They lived happily ever after,” we have to deal with the messy middle.


You see, we’re all in search of a good story. We all want to live a story, within a narrative that feels right, and safe and beautiful. We want the knight to save the princess, the frog to become a prince and the world to be a paradise. We want the beginnig of our story to smoothly connect with the end. Yet somewhere in our subconscious is the latent vision that the way things are, isn’t how they’re supppsed to be. 


Natural disasters devastate; nuclear threats reek havoc; innocent lives are lost; and we find ourselves in the messy middle of a story, disillusioned with the narrative.


All story and art expresses and is experienced from a point of view. Art and beauty always say something. In a broken world, it becomes all to easy to communicate the way things are, at the expense of the way things should be. Art that depicts life the way it’s not supposed to be is powerful in a fallen world because too often it depicts life as it is. Life is full of pain, sorrow, and anguish of soul that shatters our vision of what life could be. As we imagine what could be, we observe and live in what is.


In his powerful memoir, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl writes that in order to live a deep, meaningful story, we must have a redemptive view on suffering. In other words, despite of how things are, we have to believe that good will come out of it. Yes, I realize this philosophy is difficult for those who’ve lost everything, are dealing with tragedy and are witnessing a broken world crack all the more. Yet in the middle of the brokenness, we see redemptive acts in the form of generosity, kindness, unity and love. We hear of people and communities unifying for the common good. We witness the audacious character of individuals, speaking out against what is to make room for what could be, which in essence, is what should be.


Part of the Biblical narrative is the incessant belief that all things will work together for good. Between “will work,” and “for good,” we find “together.” This means that beautiful elements will find shattered pieces and create something beautiful, together with them. This is what connects the beginning of a story to the end. It’s an awareness that, “in this world, we will have trouble,” yet there is something, or maybe someone that has already overcome it. This grants us all an opportunity to display things as they should be, in the unfortunate reality of the way things are. We have an opportunity to come together and act and do and respond and help and support and comfort and encourage and inspire and weep and sit in silent solidarity with those who mourn. We discover ways to tell a story of the beautiful end even in the midst of a messy middle.


It was J.R.R. Tolkien who said, “There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.” My desire for humanity is that we discover, over and over and over again the good in a broken world and fight for it at all cost. In doing so, we can edit chapters of tragedy and turn them into stories of triumph.


“From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.”



Alright my friends, may we live today, a story we'd like to tell tomorrow.


- Joel




Joel Gonzalez1 Comment