A Bruised Reed

They apologize as they cry. As if they are doing something wrong. As if they have failed at a very simple task. They can’t even dam up their soul sorrow, they think. They can’t even do that right.

“My God? Why have you forsaken me?” They never say this out loud, of course, but that is why they’re here. “Have you brought me here to die? Do I mean nothing to you?”

A bruised reed he will not break.


We sit in silence for awhile. Soon enough we will turn our attention to the tributaries of the heart: the hidden streams that gouge each person’s inner landscape and finally collect in the valley of their soul. But for now we just sit in the quiet and sacred space formed when two or three come together with the intention of listening for God.

“You will not be swept away” I say. “Your people will not be swept away.”

A bruised reed he will not break.

They can’t believe me. They feel singularly alone in the river. Husbands have failed them. Dates have raped them. Children and parents have rejected them. Friends have discarded them for newer, stronger, shinier, less-damaged friends.

They are a bruised reed, torn roughly from the bank. Now at the mercy of the river, they are dragged along in a dreadful current that threatens to carry them away into the sea.

Where will this end? Who will rescue me? Will I go under? Will anyone care? Have you brought me to this place only to die?


The answers to these questions are never at the ready, not ever on the tip of any human tongue or understanding. We can only trust that our river will not consume us. The water –  swirling, muddy, or icy cold – will not overcome us. We are not too bruised for healing. We  are not too far gone for real love.

A bruised reed he will not break.

There are new mercies today, even for you.

A bruised reed he will not break.

There is hope today, especially for you.

Because Jesus was swept away. He was broken, bruised, and roughly torn. He was abandoned, shamed, abused, and left for dead – even though he was God’s beloved son.

Jesus was the bruised reed, broken for you.

Jesus was left utterly alone in the filthy river, friendless in the valley of death. His own father provided no comfort as he was dragged under and swallowed up beneath the force of all the world’s shame.

Jesus was the bruised reed, broken for you.

God could have rescued his son. At the very least, he could have acknowledged his suffering or offered a measure of consolation in his distress. Why didn’t he? Because Jesus, out of great love for his father, was willing to go into the river to rescue a drowning world. This cost him everything: his life, all earthly consolation, and – most precious to him – his heavenly Father’s presence.

Jesus did this so that you might have what heaven and nature know to be most precious thing of all: the unfailing love and presence of a just and merciful God.

Jesus was the bruised reed, broken for you. He is your hope in the river.


We are bruised reeds, yes, but we will not be broken. Because Christ carries us along tenderly, in and through our rivers, directly into the loving arms of his father.

You will not be swept away, and you are not alone.

Peace to you and yours, in the river.


8 responses to A Bruised Reed

  1. Kristin Stanley says:

    Thanks Kim…needed to hear this today. Hugs to you, Kristin

  2. Anonymous says:

    So profoundly beautiful, and as always. I shared on my fb site. Not many believers have I there, but truly that’s where I can minister, and share your wonderful writings along with mine, as I feel led. My audience is my field to cultivate ~ blessings to you Kim.

  3. Christie Wayne says:

    …oh sorry! I’m “Anonymous” lol

  4. Bethany Broadwell says:

    Beautiful! On Feb 29, 2016 12:29 PM, “Given Breath” wrote:

    > Given Breath posted: ” They apologize as they cry; as if they are doing > something wrong; as if they have failed again at a very simple task. They > can’t dam up the river of soul sorrow. They can’t even do that right. “My > God? Why have you forsaken me?” They never say this out l” >

  5. May the Lord continue to speak through your heart to ours. With all the time of contemplation and study you prepare and pour into your blog, we are blessed. Kim, I pray you are.

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