Damaged goods are not useless. Try explaining this to a toddler.
My one-year-old and I were digging in the sandbox when she discovered a crack in her plastic shovel handle. “Momma, boke,” she said.
“Yes, it’s broken,” I replied. “But you can still use it. Look, the scooper works just fine.”
“Momma, boke,” she repeated. “Daddy.”
Of course—Daddy. Her sweet suggestion triggered a smile on my lips and in my heart. It’s a known fact in the Kopitzke house that Daddy can fix anything. His basement work bench is a fountain of youth for snapped toy parts, ripped book covers, and all sizes of dead batteries. Got a cracked shovel? No problem. Daddy is handy and he owns glue.
“Daddy can fix it later, sweetheart. For now, you can still dig with the shovel. See? Dig.” I demonstrated how the sandbox toy was functional in spite of its flaw.
“Momma, boke.” She couldn’t let it go. My baby girl crinkled her eyebrows, confused and determined, unable to see beyond the crack. In her little world, a broken handle meant the whole thing was useless. Done. Garbage.
Do you ever feel that way?
I do. I have cracks. Call them faults, limitations, misfortunes, mistakes—in the end they all serve as painful reminders that I am not perfect. And it’s easy to think sometimes that God can’t use me until I am.
But then I read about the Bible superstars.
- Moses was a murderer with a speech impediment.
- Joseph came from a dysfunctional family.
- David slept with a married woman and got her pregnant.
- In Paul’s early career, he was notorious for persecuting Christians.
- Mary Magdalene had seven demons—seven!
- The Samaritan woman at the well, she was, you know, loose.
- Peter—that fair weather friend—he deserted Jesus when it wasn’t cool to hang with him anymore.
But our Father can fix anything. He has tools—mercy, grace, compassion, love, healing hands, eternal knowledge and supernatural power. God can mend us, the pitiful cracked shovels, and make us new again.
Yet even before he fixes us, we are valuable to him. “The Lord is close to the broken hearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit,” (Psalm 34:18).
Do you feel broken? You are not worthless. Are your cracks showing? Your scooper still works when it’s held in the Master’s hands.
I dusted the sand off that little plastic shovel and brought it inside. My daughter had already forgotten about it and moved on to some unblemished bristle blocks. But I felt a silly kinship with the poor castoff sandbox toy. You are not boke, I thought. Just wait until Daddy gets a hold of you.