Word of the Week: For When the Camel’s Back is Broken


May 26, 2014 by Beth Hess

2Corinthians4-16They were just pinholes, really. No single hiccup in my morning all that threatening.

It was the bulk of them, then, I suppose. The lack of time to patch one before another appeared. The running out of fingers to hold over the leaking that broke the dam wide open.

By 10am, I couldn’t hold back the tears. A giant flood of them pouring straight from my soul as I sat in the safety of a darkened sanctuary. And even as they came. And came. And kept on coming … I knew something was breaking in me. Something that had nothing to do with the silly annoyances of the morning. Something deeper. More primal.

“It’s not something in you that’s broken,” hissed a voice all too familiar. “It is you. You’re broken.” I found it hard to disagree. A quick accounting of all the ways I didn’t measure up ran across my mind like a never-ending ledger marked with the red digits of deficiency.

But the stink of his breath gave him away. The stench of a well-trained liar who too often wiggles his way into my brain when he belongs under my heel.

A whiff of grace wafted my way instead. A reminder that though there may, indeed, be things God is wanting to break in me and free me from, that the pressure will be deftly applied by a Great Physician. The wound cleaned by His blood. The break splinted by His relentless love.

Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without His unfolding grace. (2 Corinthians 4:16 – The Message)

When an oyster is invaded by an irritant, the creature secretes a substance as a form of protection. A covering to prevent unnecessary discomfort. The longer the irritant stays, the greater the natural layering effect. The bigger the invader, the more precious the pearl.

But the whole process happens in secret. While the oyster shell is still rough and nothing from the outside even suggests the masterpiece happening within.

His unfolding grace. Reapplied often to my scratchy places. New life with smoother edges. And a beauty that reflects His light.

No matter how messy or broken I look or feel, in the dark places, even those bathed in tears, together He & I are making pearls.


I return each Sabbath for a fresh Word of the Week. For the God-breathed pages to come alive in a phrase or two on which to spend a 7-day feast. To meditate upon. To use as a jumping off point for whatever other words God would have me hear during the week. I would love for you to join the Word of the Week (WOW) discussion by adding your selected verse to the comments … or reflections on any scripture reading. 

Linking with Unforced Rhythms — a wonderful community of writers who gather each Monday to share with you HERE.


3 thoughts on “Word of the Week: For When the Camel’s Back is Broken

  1. Oh, the stink of his breath gave him away – HOW TRUE IS THAT?? Great line! And I love the way you led us to the pearl at the end. Beautiful truth, Beth.


  2. Simply Beth says:

    Hello sweet friend. I’m having a day where I don’t feel I measure up and I feel oh so broken. Your post touched my heart. I want to say more but all that is coming is thank you for this message. {Hugs}


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