For many of us who have a sense of brokenness, it can be helpful to identify a symbol of our pain and torntopieceshood and then turn that symbol into something beautiful. Here's the story of how I did just that with a symbol of my own brokenness.
I had an accident in July of 2007 that left my left shoulder shattered and my left wrist badly broken. you can read about this in my book A Spirituality for Brokenness, or by visiting my web site: www.helpforbrokenness.com.
I had to wear a cast on my left forearm for about 6 weeks. The cast was white and pretty boring to look at. It quickly became dingy. But my partner, Fran, decided to decorate it for me (see the picture above). What was boring became beautiful and many people commented on how interesting it look.
When the cast came off, I kep it around. I knew I didn't want to throw it away. But I struggled with what to do. I experimented a little with turning it into a vase, but the fact that it had an opening for my fingers and separate opening for my thumb made it look pretty odd.
So Fran and I stored it away in art room at home. It rested there for more than 18 months.
Recently the cast was in my mind again. I'm not sure why.
It occurred to me that I might be able to turn my cast into a lamp (by slipping it over the verticle stick of a table lamp). I tried this and it worked fine.
I now have a lamp in my living room that displays my cast as something beautiful.
And there was one last little bit of gold in all of this.
After she saw a picture of the cast lamp, ran reminded me that the accident that resulted in my wrist being broken had begun when I turned of a lamp.
It seems rather fitting that I have now turned a symbol of pain into a work of sculpture.