“It’s counterproductive for us to wait until we’re ready to heal. We’ll never be ready for the mending process. God invites us to heal anyway.” Tattered and Mended: The Art of Healing the Wounded Soul by Cynthia Ruchti.
I received this book as an incentive for volunteering on the publicity street team. I love adding books to my collection and this one will definitely go on my favorites book shelf.
I have a pretty high pain tolerance. At least physically. When it comes to soul wounds, I am tender as a newborn baby, shrinking away from the harsh lights and screaming out my shock at the rude awakening I’ve just received. My world, which started out as warm and inviting and comforting, gets shattered by the curve balls life throws at me. The death of a grandparent that ripped my family to shreds. Growing up with a father who maintained a cold, emotional distance to hide his own wounded soul, never realizing the shattered heart of his daughter lay bleeding in his hands. A friend whose world rapidly shrinks as his severe fears and depression destroy whatever semblance of a relationship we had.
After facing these brutal attacks on my heart and soul, I’m left feeling broken and unfixable. Wondering how God can make art out of the messes in my life.
Reading Tattered and Mended, I realized a few things. Oh, the truths are not new concepts. But Cynthia Ruchti’s words are hemmed in hope and shine new light on the age old truths. She writes in such a way that just goes against the culture of this day and age to prod us out of our numbed stupor. Sometimes I think that we, nowadays, do not realize all the pain we hide in our souls because we have been taught to shove the unpleasant, uncomfortable parts of our existence in to the darkest, deepest corner of our hearts and forget about it.
Tattered and Mended evokes a sense of poetry and a healing, soothing wave of words that breathe into that dark, deep corner and bring forth our desperate longing to be healed and restored. Heavily laden with scripture and real life examples, Cynthia Ruchti pulls on the artistic threads throughout history to show and affirm a solid truth.
God never promised a painless, butterflies and rainbows existence. We live for a few brief decades, a mere whisper of time in the grand scheme of things, but we experience SO much in those short moments. Pain is part and parcel of our experience. Hurt and wounds happen in so many ways on so many different levels. What matters is what God is doing in the midst of our breaking to not only restore, but to create something beautiful and new. It doesn’t mean we lose those scars and wounds or forget about the pain. But as she states in a chapter on tapestry restoration,
“No scar is inherently beautiful. But it can be perceived as beautiful because of what it represents.”
The beauty of restoration is not in a scar-free, wound-free existence. That would be cold, brittle, and lacking the Divine Artist’s signature. It’s when the Divine Artist takes our broken, fractured pieces and creates a new story, interwoven with the blood-red threads of His Son’s triumph on the cross.
We live in a sin-laden world. Pain and suffering and soul-deep wounding is inevitable. The stories in Tattered and Mended offer the hope only given by a God whose tender hand creates, restores, and redeems us for His glory and purpose.
My copy of Tattered and Mended is already soaked through with tears. However, they are healing tears that remind me of the gentle Artist’s healing hands.