Like millions of others, I watched Kelly Clarkson cry on American Idol. Like millions of others, I cried with her.
Her song, “Piece by Piece” is about a father who left when she was six years old, and about her husband, who has loved her and their baby…who has picked up the pieces of her broken heart and shown her what it is like to be loved without having to earn it…I’m telling you, it is a powerful song.
But here is the thing.
Every human father eventually fails. Every husband falls down once in a while. Mothers and wives do too.
But as I listened, I heard the powerful strains of the Gospel coming through the music. All of us get dropped, and all of us find ourselves in pieces on the ground at one time or another. Yet no human being can fix everything that has been broken. We may resolve to try to help others, or to find someone who can help us. In the final part of the song, Kelly states her resolve not to be like her earthly father with her own daughter (and soon to be born son).
Piece by piece I fell far from the tree
I will never leave her like you left me
And she will never have to wonder her worth
Because unlike you I’m going to put her first
And you know, he’ll never walk away,
He’ll never break her heart
He’ll take care of things, he’ll love her
And piece by piece, he’ll restore my faith
That a man can be kind and a father should be great.
Only Jesus can lead us to the Father who can be that for all who are broken to pieces and abandoned by a disappointing, heart-breaking world. He’ll never break our hearts…He’ll never walk away…He’ll love us…He’ll take care of things…He’ll restore all that has been lost!
Listen to the song with you eyes on Jesus and see the loving mercy and grace of the heavenly Father in a song that was not likely to have been intended for that purpose. But as the power of its lyrics flood over you, be very glad that our great God picks us up, “piece by piece.” He makes all things new* through the grace of Jesus Christ to all who will come to Him who gives us rest** and restores our souls! Only God the Father can be that kind and be that great, can be worthy of our absolute trust. We all need such a Father…so we all need Christ!
*2 Corinthians 5:17
** Matthew 11:28-30