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  • Katie Smith

Brokenhearted Boldness

"Seeing" through stillness. Mary, sister of Martha, lived brokenhearted boldness. Not bold for world to see as it relates to posts on social screens, but bold in a broken spirit. In other words, she saw her need for a Holy Spirit because hers was genetically broken. Like Mary, we have small acts that may be controversial, but stem from true contrition of heart. Sitting still when there's "work" to be done. Pouring perfume when it could have been turned into food money. Choosing grand countercultural gestures that may be ridiculed or rebuked, but in the end they are rewarded.

We are often bold today in all the wrong ways, leading the world to believe there is nothing good to hear but brash contention. We are bold as it relates to our own self-righteousness, bold as it relates to our own hatred, bold as it relates to our opinions, boldness that is broken. Instead, we need broken-hearted boldness.

As John Piper coined it perfectly, "God intends for the beauty of brokenheartedness to mingle with the beauty of boldness so that a new reality emerges even more beautiful than the sum of both — a new reality called brokenhearted boldness. It is one of God’s most beautiful works. And it is one of the most needed in our day" (

In her beautiful broken spirit, Mary appeared to be wasteful: wasting time at Jesus' feet, wasting possessions on Jesus' head, no doubt wasting her talents serving a controversial Jesus. What a waste-- the world pointed its finger at her. Even her loved ones complained about her behavior. All the while, Mary's beauty stemmed from her humility. Her stillness settled a room where the Son of God took notice and promised that the world would remember her beautiful story long after her life ended.

May any boldness beneath my feet and words come from a contrite heart:

"My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart

you, God, will not despise." (Psalm 51:17)

So much is despised, yet there is so much to learn, which echoes my heart to live Carefully Careless.

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