This Brutiful Life

June 7, 2023

These past few weeks, I have had the opportunity to help lead a group of EMU students on a Middle East cross-cultural. We are staying in the West Bank, Palestine visiting sites and listening to speakers throughout Palestine and Israel.

These past few weeks have been both precious and difficult. It’s intense witnessing the dispossession in this holy land, and it’s holy ground to witness students’ world views deconstructing and reconstructing.

This is what happens when we are present with the brutal realities of this world, whether military occupation, homelessness, food insecurity, racism or domestic violence, to name just a few. And here is where we find Jesus, already present with the hurting, dispossessed and marginalized, inviting all to participate in building God’s beautiful kingdom with broken and shattered stones.

Author Glennon Doyle was the first to introduce me to the word “Brutiful” meaning that brutal and beautiful realities merge in this life, on this earth, in this realm. As Christians, we see it in the cross and the resurrection, each giving the other meaning.

Bridge of Hope families are often doing unseen work of building beauty in brutal circumstances, by setting goals to live into a new story. Brutiful is the reason Bridge of Hope family testimonies are so powerful.

In 2020, Bridge of Hope graduate Kris shared that she realized that instead of being broken, her life was actually a mosaic, built from all the broken pieces that she had gathered together and intentionally placed in a new and meaningful order.

No matter who you are, there is no escaping brutiful. But the good news is that Jesus is always right here with us.

“Love is like five loaves and two fish. Always too little until you start giving it away.”

Image: Tabgha Church Mosaic, Galilee

This Brutiful Life