How can you mend a broken person?

There is an old song that asks “How can you mend a broken heart?”, talking about a romantic relationship gone bad. Based on the topic of brokenness I ask, how does God mend a broken person?

Broken vessel

Photo courtesy of ©iStockphoto/sb-borg

I’m sure you have already tried to fix an object that got broken before. You try to put the pieces back together (which may be a challenge depending on how bad it was broken and how many small pieces it was turned into) then apply glue or a similar material to hold them into one piece again.

But you can usually see that the object was broken. Maybe you can see the marks or notice that it is not quite exactly how it used to be. Even if you made an awesome job and there are no visible signs, you know that the object is more fragile now. It may break again easier than before.

What about people?

When something is broken inside a person (a hurt or trauma from the past) it keeps them from being whole.

I’ve seen people trying to hide their brokenness. That doesn’t work, the hurt is still there, they may not see it, it may look like everything is perfect, but it is still impacting that person’s life.

Sometimes, the person tries to patch things up with drugs, alcohol, gambling, all sorts of illusions, but it just breaks them even more. It’s like trying to hide a crack in a vase by applying duct tape to it. It is worse after than it was before. You may not see the crack, but eventually you won’t see the vase at all.

People may try to hide or “patch up” their brokenness, but that’s not how God works. He wants to mend, heal them completely.

So, how does God deal with broken people?

The Bible uses several times an analogy showing us as jars of clay and God as the potter, and this analogy is also used to show how God mends our brokenness.

Yet you, Lord, are our Father.
We are the clay, you are the potter;
we are all the work of your hand. (Isaiah 64:8)

Have you ever seen a potter working? If they are making a jar and they notice a problem, even a tiny little thing, they stop no matter how close they are to finish it and start from scratch again. They make the “almost-jar” into a pile of clay again, and start over. There’s no patching up on the way, no hiding the flaw, the jar has to be free of any cracks and deformations.

The problem is that to tear it all down, it hurts. It may even seem to hurt more than the original cause of the brokenness. But it is necessary. It is like when someone break a bone and it heals in the wrong position. The doctor has to break it again so it can heal properly. There’s no other way.

This means that God will put us through experiences that may be difficult, but He knows that there is a purpose in all of that: mending us. Maybe we have to face our fears, or forgive someone who’ve hurt us, or ask someone for their forgiveness…

We have to trust Him that everything that’s going on is for our own good, somehow. And let Him do the mending.

So we can be whole again.

This post is part of the “One Word at a Time Blog Carnival” hosted by Peter Pollock. Check out other posts that were written based on the word “broken”.



  1. Your post is more about hope than brokenness. I guess
    that’s the point anyway. We serve a God of hope who uses
    brokenness. Thanks so much for the post.

    • Scott, you got the point! Thank you very much for your comment.

  2. All God has to work with is broken things. And yet look at what he has accomplished.

    Good post, Cris.

    • Glynn, you’re absolutely right. Thank you for your comment!

  3. This reminds me of a scripture. Something about “He purgeth every branch so it can produce fruit.”

    I’ve had to be broken so I can heal before.

    I’ve had to have my branches purged, so I could bear fruit.

    And each time, I’m amazed how well God heals.

    • Beautiful, Duane! That’s a great analogy too, thanks for mentioning it.

    • I loved this story, Helen, thank you very much for sharing it!

  4. The saddest part about that song was that it left the question unanswered. We know the answer, but sometimes we’re afraid of the pain in the mending. Very thoughtful post. Thank you.

    • Thank you very much for your comment, Katdish, I appreciate it!

  5. Forgiveness is a healing balm for a wounded heart.
    Beautiful post. Blessings.

    • Thank you, Melissa, for taking the time to read and comment.

  6. a very appropo post for me to read today…not only do i
    work with broken kids but recently went through some brokeness
    myself…thanks for this one…

    • Brian, I pray that God bless your work as he uses you to show the way to Him for these kids.
      I am so glad that He used this post to send a message to you.
      Thank you for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it!

  7. Your broken pot reminded me of my 2 foot hit statue of a young girl holding wheat she has gleaned and thanking God for it. One day my 3 year old grandson purposefully hit it and knocked it down breaking it into several pieces. My kind husband glued her back together but she is not perfect only repaired. God is the mender of broken hearts and broken people. The memory of all the sadness may still be there, but God is able to heal the pain and bring restoration. By the way, I enjoyed your comments on the political post. (I believe it was Glenn’s post)

    • Hazel, you said it right, God doesn’t have to erase the memories. He heals us so completely that we can still live and learn from them.
      Thank you very much for your comment!

  8. We have a good Healer of the broken-hearted ….

    • Yes we do! Thank you for your comment.

  9. It’s like trying to hide a crack in a vase by
    applying duct tape to it… eventually you won’t see the vase at
    That is one powerful word picture! After reading
    your post, I got a mental picture of a picture with a crackle glaze
    on it. The cracks actually enhance the beauty. It doesn’t seem
    possible for them to ever be lovely, but the Lord’s artistry pulls
    it off, and I am certain that the Lord sees great beauty in our
    cracks. Thank you for stopping by my blog. I’m glad for the
    opportunity it provided to catch this post. : )

    • Anne, I didn’t thought it that way at first, but I agree with you.
      Thank you so much for checking out my blog and taking the time to comment. I appreciate your feedback!

  10. You’re right, Cris. It can hurt going through the remolding
    process! But when we can trust that it’s for our good, the pain is
    more tolerable. Thanks for sharing (and now I have that song
    humming in my head! ha).

    • Lisa, thank you for coming by and commenting, I appreciate it. Sorry about the song sticking on your head 😉

  11. There is a painting at church by a member that shows a cracked pot. Light is pouring into it from above…from God. The light is shining through the cracks making a beautiful design, transforming the pot from an ordinary utensil into an extraordinary piece displaying how God uses cracked pots.

    • Wow, it’s sounds like a really beautiful picture. Thanks for sharing!

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