Humpty Dumpty’s Great Fall and Surviving Brokenness


I went out with a friend for coffee. Our bubbly conversation about kids, weight gain and crazy relatives turned into a sniffy, nose dripping lament about the deep hurts that life brings. Country Western legend Hank Williams had nothing on me with his somebody-done-me-wrong songs. Laments were my forte. Swollen eyes and runny mascara were my calling card.

“I can’t cry,” my friend said her hands gripping her coffee cup so tightly I expected the enamel to crack, “If I start, I’ll never stop.”

I just stared at her, tears welling in my eyes.

She laughed.

“You don’t understand,” she said, “If I stop holding myself together, I’ll fall completely apart. I’ll never be able to put myself back together again.”

“All the kings horses and all the kings men,” I murmured. This was not exactly a great response. But all I could think of was Humpty Dumpty falling off the wall. No one ever put him together again.

Frankly, the poem was so short, I never figured out if Humpty Dumpty actually survived his brokenness. I’d like to know.

In the last few years, a loneliness has taken roots in my complacency. A longing for connection pushes against the shell that protects my heart. When I least expect it,  I am overwhelmed with emotion. Sometimes it happens in church, sometimes in casual conversation. Something inside me is breaking.

I don’t want to fall apart, let everyone see the uncertainty, the part of me that shows my weakness. I don’t want people to know that at best I am nothing more than a scrawny little sheep.

Bottom line – If I do shatter into a million pieces I’d much prefer that all the kings horses and all the kings men but me back together so I resemble the even tempered, hardworking Christian I have always been.

But, the helpless sheep is who I really am. That is all God expects me to be.

One thought on “Humpty Dumpty’s Great Fall and Surviving Brokenness

  1. Why is our image so important to us? Maybe people won’t like us if we lack perfection? Everyone longs for the freedom to just be their flawed selves.

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