The Broken Crayon

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Psalm 147:3: “He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.”

As a teacher, I see all types of school supplies coming in the classrooms. September is so special as students open new boxes of markers, pencils, erasers and crayons. However, as the days and months go by, the brand-new supplies get well-used, get wrecked and get lost. Then as a parent of students who bring home what little remains of the September school supplies in June, I become dismayed. What happened to…?

Let’s consider the crayon box. Inside, there are brightly-colored crayons that have the wrapper on and smell nice. All 24 (or whatever number) crayons are there – full and new and bright and beautiful! My favourite colours would be pink and purple, so they’d be used a lot, or represent me. What is your favourite colour?   Let’s pick my pink one and compare it to our lives and faith journey.

Taking a new, smelly crayon out of the box could represent our life on earth or as a child of God. We are used and loved like someone’s favourite crayon to colour everything with, just as we are loved as a new family or church member. Eventually our sharp tips flatten with much use and other crayons get picked to do the proper colouring job. Sometimes our tips get flat or tired from much use – maybe stress or sin in our lives? And then, when our tips get flat from use, what happens? We start gently tearing the wrapper off to reveal more, like when we expose ourselves to more stress or sin. However, there is more use for us and we feel useful or excited! Sometimes, though, our crayon’s wrapper gets ripped off in anger. Yes, I think we’ve all been ripped apart – in a heated disagreement or by someone who may not like us (or in the case of a crayon, something we’ve scribbled), or by someone’s angry outburst that was directed at us. And what about the outburst that breaks the crayon or us? How many of us felt – or feel – broken by our sin, or by the sins of others that break us down? We are broken in spirit. How many of us have tried to tape the broken crayon together? What happens? It breaks under pressure of our fingers or hand. This is like us masking our brokenness with addictions or fillers but the high or filler doesn’t last. We still break under life’s pressures too! Then there’s the crayon that gets broken and crushed on the floor, only to be swept into the garbage at the end of the day by the janitor. No one bothered to pick up the crayon and save it for further use. Do you, too, feel broken, crushed and alone, feeling useless and tossed away, like no one cares for you?

This is where Jesus comes in. He scoops us up when we are broken, crushed, feeling neglected and useless. Jesus took our sin and brokenness when He took our sins which bound Him to the cross for His crucifixion, which wrapped Him in the tomb for His burial, and then made us new at His glorious resurrection! Jesus promises to be with us always and to use us for His glory! He made us whole and useful to His purpose for our sake.  Jesus works through us to “color” His World with acts of kindness, gentleness, patience, love, encouragement. We are all broken crayons, but Jesus uses our brokenness to share Him with others, to decorate the lives of others by showing His Love for us. We are never too broken to be used by God.

So keep a broken crayon with you, to remind you that Jesus loves you and has a purpose for you, no matter how tired, old, crumbled you feel. Share a broken crayon with someone who is also in need of encouragement. And remember, Jesus loves you!

Do you know someone who is broken? Or are you a broken crayon? What have you tried doing to fix or repair? Did it work? What/Who does work to repair? How can we be more encouraging to others?

Diane, Saskatchewan

If you have words of encouragement to share, please send them to Annette at

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3 thoughts on “The Broken Crayon

  1. This reminds me of my box of broken crayons little bits and pieces. I use them to make new shaped crayons or stain glass sun catchers. Isn’t that exactly what God does to us? Makes use into new creations through His Word and Baptism.

  2. Love this. As a teacher I completely relate to this. I relate to the shiny, newly waxed floors, ar the beginning if the year, that by the end of the year are scuffed and dirty.

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