"When I'm broken, see what happens
Arms wide open, see what happens
See what happens to me."
~ Vigilantes of Love, When I'm Broken (See What Happens)
With diligent and solid endurance, brokenness can gradually transition in the direction of wholeness. The steps are unpredictable, and there may be spells without any steps. One of the turning points I've found is in the recovery of our stance. Though violated, life and self are worth defending. Perhaps this is close to Henri Nouwen's stand in your pain statement. For me, this seems to evolve ahead of retooled life patterns and diet. There is power in articulation, especially for those whose spirit is accompanied by images and words- written and spoken. And this is to say real and palpable words, far more substantial than pixillated digital files and mugshots which can be deleted at the press of a button. The virtual world is just what it purports to be: figurative, evasive, and only a vague byproduct which cannot compare with the real world of pulsating souls, beating hearts, accented voices, personal histories. Our defensible lives require the collective boldness to seek higher things and not cop out on ourselves or on one another. Choosing to love, and love well, implies risk and imperfection; but to be true to this ethic means that the practice of compassionate love is to provide space for understanding, instead of dismissive judgment and intolerance.