When Jim and I were planning our Blessing of our Marriage ceremony (we got married by a Justice of the Peace, and then did a “wedding” for family and friends seven months later), we listened to many, many, many songs to try to narrow down the one perfect song. For us, the song had to incorporate God into the picture, as God is at the center of our marriage. We narrowed it down to three songs, and we spent some time listening to each song over and over and over. Finally we decided that the perfect song was Bless the Broken Road, composed by Marcus Hummon, Jeff Hanna, and Bobby Boyd. My favorite cover (version) is performed by Melodie Crittendon and the Christian group Selah (it’s on Selah’s album of duets called Bless the Broken Road). So in the middle of the ceremony this beautiful song was sung to express our love and commitment to one another, and it so very aptly described the background of our lives until God brought us together and we married. I still tear up just thinking about it. As I was writing this reflection, we both listened to three different covers of this song, and Jim was ready to hear even more – maybe later.
“Every long lost dream led me to where you are
And others who broke my heart they were like northern stars
Pointing me on my way into your loving arms
This much I know it’s true
That God blessed the broken road
That led me straight to you”
This is not my first marriage, nor is it his. So, suffice it to say, there’s lots of broken roads in both of our lives. We each had a lot to learn before God got us together, and we both know that there’s so much more to learn as we travel the roads said-by-side each and every day. True love is a difficult thing to find, and many of us travel down many broken roads, some dead end, and even into some alleys or trails in search of it. Some of us travel this road so many times that we lose count, and perhaps we even lose hope in search of fulfillment.
The Old Testament love story of Ruth and Boaz is a wonderful example of God leading and shaping His ultimate love story. Ruth (and Naomi even more so) traversed many broken roads in her life. God took each one of those places and experiences and wove them together into a beautiful, rich tapestry, and then preserved that tapestry for us all to enjoy and learn from thousands of years later. It wasn’t easy, and at times it was very far from pleasant or pretty. But, the reward was there in the end.
God leads us down those broken roads as a part of His grander plan. Just as Boaz “redeemed” Ruth (and therefore Naomi too), Jesus redeemed each and everyone of us with the human part of His life. His sacrifice is the ultimate pure love story. When we meet up with Jesus along our broken road, we experience a love that cannot compare with any other. It’s greater than the love story between Ruth and Boaz, and greater than the love story between Jim & Victoria.