Job 2:8 says, “Job sat on the pile of ashes where he was mourning and used a piece of broken pottery to scrape his sores.” When you are part of an organization that features mosaics, the words broken pottery stand out! If anyone qualifies for “broken pieces” in their life, Job does. While a mental infirmity or addiction is not discussed, I would venture to say his mental health is at stake. He had lost his possessions, his livelihood, and his children. Then to top it off he was stricken with a skin disease and his wife was being a tad unsupportive. Job’s very foundational beliefs in God were being tested. I envision that at the moment he was sitting with the broken pottery, he was not thinking about how God was going to use those broken pieces around him for beauty. He saw them only as a means to scrape his festering sores and in turn experience more pain. I imagine as Job contemplated his situation, he didn’t see all the pieces being put back together because they were literally ash all around him. You can’t glue ashes back together.
Have you ever felt that way? Have you experienced a moment or a season where there seemed no way possible that your life could be put back together? When encountering a mental health or addiction struggle yourself or with a loved one, it can feel that way. All the hopes and dreams are shattered and you are left in a heap of ashes mourning what you imagined would be. You grieve, just like Job was grieving. And sometimes…in that moment…all you can do is sit with it.
In real life we can’t fast forward through that time of sitting in the place of ashes all around us, but in this post we can. In Job 42:5 he shares, “My ears had heard of you (God), but now my eyes have seen you.” I can’t think of a better way to describe the experience of recovery from a place of mental infirmity or addiction, either personally or as a family. It is in that moment where you look back on what seemed completely beyond repair and it has been made new in ways that just aren’t humanly possible, that your eyes are open to who God truly is.
If you are surrounded by ashes and broken pieces today, know that you are not alone. Mosaics of Mercy is full of personal testimony of people who have sat through those ash heaps surrounded by broken pieces and hopelessness. We get it. But the story does not end there. Hope is found. And over and over you hear that when people look back, they see that God was with them in the ashes and on the other side He gave them new eyes to see His mercy and His power. I know He has given them to me!