The other night I had two meetings for church. The first was with Justin (holla shout out whore, I'm thinking maybe I should stop calling you a whore...) about outreach. During the meeting his boss called, but he didn't answer the phone. Justin said his boss' dad was dying of congestive heart failure. On the way to the church offices (in his own car) Justin called his boss back to talk. At the offices for our programming meeting Justin was telling Greg (exec pastor) and I about his boss' dad. Greg asked what congestive heart failure was, was it just a heart that's not working? Justin replied, "It's when your heart is so broken it can't be repaired". It made my ears perk up and my brain start working.
I thought back to the drama this weekend in BG, I thought about the non-reality I lived in for about 24 hours at the beginning of this week because of a silly phone call. I thought about how often we operate out of a broken heart. Are hearts ever so broken they can't be repaired? Are we ever so betrayed that it robs us of the ability to have healthy intimacy with anyone ever again? I think yes, and the thought of it makes my heart break.
Sometimes I think my heart has been so broken that it can't be repaired. I'm trying like hell for that to not be true, but some days, like this week, I suspect that it's true. Many of you I'm sure suspect what I'm talking about, and you are probably right on both counts. I'm thinking of one issue in particular, but no names will be mentioned to protect the innocent.
I often think that my heart has been so shattered by your lies and ambivalence that I may never be able to be in a healthy relationship again (for the first time I'm sure many will contend). I'm trying, I'm praying and working and risking the shreds of my heart that have been slowly and painfully sewn back together. But I'm not sure there's anything scarier then extending your love and having it handed back to you.
What about when we're not talking about people, or more so we're talking about people and the way they relate God to others? What about when a person that defines themselves as a follower of Christ has wounded you so deeply, rejected you so abruptly with the parting words of "I forgive you, and am praying for you" (for what again?) that your heart doesn't have a chance to make it back in your chest in one piece? Were does that leave you with God? Hurt, damaged, broken beyond repair? Perhaps. It's scary venturing back into a realm of God after being so badly burned. What if God really IS like all those people that laughed and pointed at you? What if God is really mean and nasty, gossiping and a liar? People humanize God because we can't comprehend that someone would truly love us no matter what. If we never experience this love from people, who are made in God's image, then how on earth can we expect the God they are made in the image of to love us any differently?
The farther I dive into God the more of Him I find. I was always frustrated before I was a believer, when I would ask people how they knew that God was real, that God wouldn't leave them. They didn't have easy answers wrapped up in a bow, which pissed me off. But then again, there were people that had pretty answers all wrapped up, and I didn't trust them because I didn't think it could be that simple.
Only through loving God and accepting his love of me have the few tattered pieces of my heart found a way back together. Oh, they strain at the stitches sometimes, because of old habits and hope being sprung right before the door is slammed in my face. But all my life I've felt like I've been looking for this salve to heal the darkest most shredded parts of me, and I've found that in God.
Once again, I digress....anyone shocked to terribly? Didn't think so...
So hope is presented to me in laughter and comfortable conversation, late night conversation about next to nothing. Hope is presenting to me in the familiarity of your voice and the way you already know what I'm going to say before I say it (somehow, and I still am not entirely sure how you do it). Hope is found in the fantasy I nurture secretly in the most obvious ways. Then, there is the hope that is taken away, as quickly as it was given. In the nuances of your confirmation that the one thing, the one thing left that I can not abide by is still there, festering and hooked into your heart. Reality slams me back to earth and I am exhausted by the roller coaster of planning and ideas that you have inadvertently planted in my mind.
These are the days that my heart seems so broken that it cannot be repaired. These are the days that I flee back into my God's arms hoping that He will once again repair the damage that I've done again. Because, while I would like to say it is your fault that my heart is so tattered, it is mine. It is in my stubborn love and faith that I run back into the shredder every so often and find that there is no more there now then there was the last time.
In God, a heart is never so broken that it can't be repaired. In God, I can hope and have faith that one day I will find someone that doesn't invite my heart into the shredder for the distinct privilege of loving them.