Love is a funny thing. So is a broken heart. And I really do believe that the two mixed together makes one of the most beautiful creations ever known to man. Because I think when we learn what love is and how to love and then we have our hearts broken, we get a small taste of what Jesus feels when He looks upon us. The way He felt so deeply towards us that He stepped down from the throne of the Universe to become the curse that would kill our curse. The way He writhes in agony over His children walking away from Him to a Lover much less wild. Love and a broken heart may together be the most divine encounter in the entire world. When love and a broken heart mix, changing the world follows. Really, just look at what Jesus did and what Paul and Peter did and what Martin Luther did and Dietrich Bonheoffer and MLK and Mother Teresa and Bill Bright.
And as I look at love and a broken heart I think that maybe I’ll always be stuck in this place of being between how the world is and how it should be. A couple years ago I realized that I was camped out there, that my heart found a temporary home in that great chasm shortly after I gave my life to Jesus. I found out that life is not only short but it also both beautiful and horrifying in the same breath. I saw the dream of Eden and longed for it. But my friends, we are a far way from Eden.
I don’t really know why I thought I would move on from that place once I walked further into the mountains with Jesus making my feet harder with every step. I’m not sure why I made myself believe that this time of being on my knees would be my last time. Did Paul ever think that? Surely not. So why would I? Whatever the reason was, it’s gone now. And until I see Jesus face to face, I’m going to be here in this place where I can see clearly how the world is and how it should be.
This last weekend a football player was found dead in his dorm room. His roommate saw him playing videogames early Sunday morning and came back in an hour later to find him unresponsive and when they took him to the hospital, he died. Dead. Just like that. An enlarged heart. That quick.
Sunday night I was at a church service where a leader of FCA got up and she rallied us and told us that this is where the body of Christ came into play. That we would love Garrett’s family with prayers and support and that this family would come together to grow and to endure. And then we prayed and we prayed that Jesus would be glorified in the midst of tragedy. Then I came back to my dorm later that night only to find that Westboro Baptist Church was planning on protesting his funeral. Automatically I was welcomed back into the chasm and overwhelmed with a rush of emotion. Broken for Garrett’s death and broken for the depravity of man.
I wish that all of these questions I have about justice could be answered quickly and easily. I wish that we didn’t have to sit around and wonder why Jesus lets His name be trampled upon so much. But then just as I begin to judge the people of Westboro I come to a reality that leads me to my knees yet again. If He didn’t, then I would have been done for a long time ago. Aren’t I just as sinful and deceived? Didn’t I put Jesus to death as well? Aren’t I Judas too?
I don’t understand why the world is how it is and sometimes I let sorrow attack me into believing I need to know why. But it all comes down to the question of if I truly and wholly believe that God is sovereign. And I do. Though I may sometimes mutter that fact through gritted teeth and with clenched fists, it still doesn’t change that the Living God cares for us. He is sovereign. I believe that with everything I am.
My heart is heavy on this Thanksgiving day. But although it is heavy I have tasted a small portion of what it is like to love with a broken heart and for that, I give thanks. Jesus is alive and hope breathes. I am thankful until the end.