We're all broken.
And we're covering it up. It's too risky to come out from behind that mask, that wall we put up to keep people out.
Until someone else does. Speaking transparently from their own brokenness. In essence, giving us permission to face our own hurt and darkness. The "truth" that will, in Jesus' words, "set you free" (John 8:32).
I watched it happen on 11 pain- and poverty-hardened Indian reservations this summer. I've seen it happen when I've opened up about my very broken heart - broken by the sudden loss of my Karen, the irreplaceable love of my life.
And I've seen the singular power of brokenness to break through to the hardest closed hearts. Including some who may be very close to us. Because an open heart opens hearts.
Exhibit A - the amazing young people I traveled with this summer. Forty-eight Native Americans bringing the Hope they've found to some hope-starved places.
Where the walls are high around the wounded hearts of reservation young people. Abuse, anger, addictions, all the dying around them - they try to protect themselves by closing down.
The team members get it. They've lived it. Their stories would break your heart. Until they get to the turning point. Jesus. That brown-skinned, tribal Man whose death for their sins and death-beating resurrection power changed everything. Because of Him, things don't have to be the way they've always been. And that's called hope.
Through them, hundreds of Native young people did what Native young people don't do. Step out to declare they were choosing Jesus.
What broke through? Their stories. In one-on-one conversations. From center court. Speaking - often with tears - about the darkest, most personal moments of their lives. So they could tell about their Jesus.
And they broke through the walls, again and again. Because they brought Jesus, wrapped in their own brokenness.
Because that's how He came. In the Bible's words, "He was rejected, a man of sorrows...despised...afflicted...disfigured...pierced...crushed" (Isaiah 52:14, 53:3-5).
A broken Savior for broken people. Like me.
At our national conference for Native young people, I told about Jesus through my freshly broken heart. When there was an opportunity for them to choose Him, it was the largest response we've ever seen at the conference.
The walls and masks we put up to hide our brokenness often cannot be breached by persuasion, debate, even Scripture.
Unless the messenger comes broken. With Hope to share.
A marriage can be saved...a child...a friendship...a soul - if someone is willing to come from behind their mask, their walls, their defenses. And simply let their heart do the talking.
That's when Jesus turns my hurt into hope for someone else.
And it's how my Jesus - who said He "came to bind up the brokenhearted" - does His life-restoring miracle.
He turns my "ashes" into a "crown of beauty" (Isaiah 61:3).
Check out more from Ron Hutchcraft @Hutchcraft.com