Threads in God's Story: Brokenness

* Today's reading is from a violent, difficult passage of Scripture.  Before reading, you may want to pause and check in with yourself and God, whether now is a good moment for you to wrestle with this story.

15 Then suddenly Amnon’s love turned to hate, and he hated her even more than he had loved her. “Get out of here!” he snarled at her.

16 “No, no!” Tamar cried. “Sending me away now is worse than what you’ve already done to me.”

But Amnon wouldn’t listen to her. 17 He shouted for his servant and demanded, “Throw this woman out, and lock the door behind her!”

18 So the servant put her out and locked the door behind her. She was wearing a long, beautiful robe, as was the custom in those days for the king’s virgin daughters. 19 But now Tamar tore her robe and put ashes on her head. And then, with her face in her hands, she went away crying.

-       2 Sam. 13:15-19

This week’s big question: If we come to Scripture so that God can help us find our story in his great big story… what story is he telling, anyway?

The second thread found throughout the story of Scripture is brokenness – that the imago dei within each of us, our original creation goodness, has been marred and distorted by sin.  We experience this horrible reality, the brokenness of sin, in all of our relationships – with nature, with God, with each other – and Scripture reflects it as well.  So we don’t find in every story of the Bible an example we should follow; in stories like our reading today, the aftermath of the rape of Tamar, we find instead a mirror that helps us notice and grieve and resist evil - to tear our own robes and put ashes on our own heads.

As you read the story of Tamar again, would you ask God to help you notice the words that stand out to you and talk to him about why?  It’s a violent and emotionally raw story and may bring up difficult memories of times you’ve experienced injustice, violation, deep anger or deep grief.  Would you trust God to be with you in whatever emotions you experience as you read and talk with him?