Tuesday, August 7, 2012
A Broken Heart
Oaken Broken Heart!
One of the most powerful images I experienced in scripture is found several places. I most noticed it in Psalm 34:18, 147:3 and Isaiah 61:1 (you can look them up yourself if you want to do so). These texts describe the unique and especially intimate way God cares for a select group of people. That group of people is those who are broken hearted. God promises to be near to them, and describes Himself as seeking up bind up and heal their broken hearts. And that is a huge part of so many experiences in life, especially in divorce. When a marriage ends like that, there are broken hearts all over the place. One spouse’s heart may have been broken years before, as they* saw their marriage decay and their spouse fall so far short of what they had hoped and dreamed their marriage would be. That is usually the person who files. The one who is filed upon is often surprised, and their heart breaks as they experience this once beloved person turn against them in what feels like betrayal. And, of course, the children’s hearts break as they see mommy and daddy fighting, crying or struggling. And the grandparents’ hearts break as they watch their child and grandchildren go through the upheaval and agony of divorce. Plenty of broken hearts to go around in a divorce.
But not only in divorce. Yesterday, I went out to the hospital early to see my 91 year old uncle who has decided it is time to call in hospice and end all the treatments, medicines and therapies. I took my nearly 93 year old dad in with me to see his brother. Lots of heartbreak in that room. In losing a loved one, it is helpful when we see that the individual has lived a full and long life, but the truth is, one is never really ready to let go. But we have to, ready or not.
Hearts break as boyfriends split up from their girlfriends. Hearts break when long loved pets die. Hearts break when hopes are dashed by test scores, rejection letters and pink slips from the boss.
You can tell already that this topic is dear to my heart (which has had it’s own share of breaks), and so you know it is well covered in the book itself. But here I want to point out something simple in case you are experiencing some kind of heartbreak in your world. When your heart is breaking, there is a unique and special opportunity to experience a precious intimacy with God, because in those tender moments, God chooses to draw near to you because of those wounds. Don’t neglect to embrace those loving arms in the midst of YOUR heartache.
*For those of you who haven’t seen the book, I do explain in it that I DO REALIZE that grammar expects plural nouns to go with plural verbs, and when referring to an individual, we are supposed to use the singular. But my thing is that I am frustrated that we haven’t developed an effective gender neutral pronoun (calling a person “it” just doesn’t evoke positive responses, unless you are playing tag). So rather than have somebody ticked that I tried to include women in “him” or men in “she,” I choose to use the plural and let the grammarians pull their hair. Just so you know.
TL:dr When our hearts are broken, God is near if we look to sense His presence.