Commune: In the Breaking

My treasured friend, gifted and strong, came undone. Like a lovely piece of pottery knocked from her shelf, she shattered into shards. As she lay on the ground in pieces, gasping for relief, her Creator was at work. Every single sliver was tenderly picked up, preserved, and artfully arranged into a beautiful mosaic.

In the breaking, she went from being lovely and admired on the shelf to a masterpiece of artistry moving in empowered beauty.

In the breaking, her communing with God released her to be fully loved in her brokenness and conformed to the image of Christ.

In the breaking, communing with God shapes us to become His expressions of abundant provision to meet others in their own fractured brokenness.

In Luke 24, Jesus takes bread, blesses it, breaks it, and gives it to His two disheartened friends. In that moment of breaking the bread, their eyes open and they realize Who walked alongside them on the way to Emmaus.

This process of taking, blessing, breaking, and giving was a familiar one to Jesus’ followers.* They watched Him do the very same thing as He fed the 5,000 and again as He fed the 4,000.

In the breaking of a few loaves to satisfy the hunger of multitudes, Jesus revealed a glimpse of Himself as the God of power and plenty, moved by compassion to bring abundance in place of scarcity.

This same process was part of the Last Supper preparation for Jesus’ sacrifice, as the Bread of Life Himself was broken for us and given for our redemption.

Taking, blessing, breaking, and giving also marks seasons in your spiritual journey. Taken into God’s hands, into His family, into His throne room, lifted into His arms. Blessed and prayed over by your Intercessor, nurtured, delighted in, spoken over with love. Broken, grieved, afflicted, humbled. Given to meet needs you could not meet had you remained intact and unbroken.

In the breaking, your communing reveals fresh glimpses of God as He discloses Himself to your longing, fragile soul. Isaiah 57:15 says the High and Holy One dwells with the contrite and broken. He makes His home in the midst of your brokenness, pouring Himself into the cracks of your humanity, making you whole.

In the breaking, your jagged edges and torn places let in the weightiness of His being. Your hard ground is upturned by the plow and made ready for the seeds of His nature.

In the breaking, you are freed to accept deep and undeniable love wrapped up in true grace. That love and grace produces threads of Christlikeness which He tenderly weaves into your being.

In the breaking, you commune with God in fresh, fiery ways. God’s ways of love become so life-giving and sustaining they dig deep ruts in you. Your brokenness invites Him into your soul, and you welcome the shaping that transforms you to think and see and love like Him. Then that is what God gives to the world. Him in you.

God in you.

Whatever aspect of the character of God that overwhelms and rescues you in your time of brokenness becomes the fragrance of your being.

In the breaking, your communing with God transforms you so that others experience the Presence of God, expressed in you in the ways He has sustained and pursued you.

Who has God been to you in your breaking?

If God has met you as your Gentle Shepherd, you long for others to experience this gentle sustaining and pursuing Presence when they are with you. However God has met you – as your Strong Defender, Father of Mercy, Comforter, Source, Provider, Safe Refuge, Soul Rest, Prince of Peace, Hope-Giver, Joy-Bringer, Beloved – that is the aspect of our God that you carry deep within.

In the breaking, communing with Him opens up spaces to gaze at Him across the table. And in the gazing, you become whole. You become the masterpiece of artistry, the beautiful mosaic of redeemed shards, the carrier of His presence to a broken world.

We welcome you to the table with your sisters as we commune with Christ across the world at the Velvet Ashes Retreat this weekend. It’s not too late to join us.


*Matthew 14:19, 15:36, 26:26; Mark 6:41, 8:6, 14:22; Luke 9:16, 22:19, 24:30, 35


  1. Bethany April 14, 2016

    Patty! I feel like this could have been written about me in my first term in South Asia. When I think about that intnese breaking, it still brings tears to my eyes. Three years deep into hot, hard life in Asia, I am pressing into my Beloved identity and learning to call it out in others. As Papa Artist paints me back together I get to walk alongside others in their breaking season as member care and personnel for our company in our country in South Asia- a sheer holy broken honor. Thank you for putting words to this deep beautifully messy reality!!

    1. Patty Stallings April 14, 2016

      Bethany the Beloved, I can tell I would immediately love your heart if we were to meet.  Isn’t it like our Father to use the very places of our breaking to speak life and wholeness into the souls of others.  “A sheer holy broken honor” – Yes, yes, yes! 

  2. Jenilee April 14, 2016

    I agree with Bethany! This is me, only I’m right here in our first term. I love how you used the story of the feeding of the 5000, the taken, blessed, broken and given. Beautiful.

    “In the breaking, she went from being lovely and admired on the shelf to a masterpiece of artistry moving in empowered beauty.”

    Thank you for writing such a powerful post for us today!

    1. Patty Stallings April 14, 2016

      Oh, Jenilee. May you experience the extravagant love and empowerment of being taken, blessed, broken, and given – because of the hands that hold you in each part of the process. May you experience the abundance that comes after the reckoning of having only a few loaves and fish to offer.  There’s something God is building in you that is going to reflect Him in a way that delights Him and you!

      1. Jenilee April 14, 2016

        Thank you! Do you mind if I use a quote from you in a blog post? linked back to here?

        1. Patty Stallings April 14, 2016

          I would be honored.  And I’d love to read more of your story!

  3. Monica F April 14, 2016

    I love this post, and everything the Lord gave you to say really touched me.  I was recently listening to a message and the speaker said, “It’s the breaking and the disturbances in life that can prompt true change.” I have been reflecting on this for the last few days in preparation for the VA retreat.  And looking back on the last few years, it was most certainly in the ‘breaking’- life getting turned upside down- that I could enter into peaceful communion with my Savior, and experience transformation that I so desperately needed.  Thank you for your words today!

    1. Patty Stallings April 14, 2016

      Thank you for sharing that quote, Monica. So true!  I am going to be trusting with you that the desires of your heart are attended to in ways that minister to you deeply during the retreat. I’m hoping you have some moments to sit with Jesus and continue to let Him show you aspects of your breaking that were bathed in His kindness and love for you.

      1. Monica F April 14, 2016

        Thank you so much!

  4. Michelle April 14, 2016

    Thank you so much.  This is beautiful!  I echo some of the others who have commented…I’m in my first term too, and this is me!  But what a delight–a deep, painful delight–to discover the beauty of brokenness.  As I walk through this season of brokenness I’m finding God as my Vine…the One who asks me simply to abide, and He becomes my very life.

    1. Patty Stallings April 14, 2016

      Michelle, as you abide in His life, may you be reminded again and again of His sustaining care for you! May His beauty capture you and mark you for life! Much love to you!

  5. Ellie April 20, 2016

    Beautiful, beautiful Patty! Thank you.


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