“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
I leaned over in the garden and picked up the broken pieces. They were scattered all around me. When I finally gathered all of the pieces in one place, I stared at them. How was I going to put them back together again? Like Humpty Dumpty, they looked beyond repair. The terra cotta pot I had dropped had broken into a million little pieces. Just like my heart, I thought to myself.
“God, I’ve been here before,” I prayed. “I’ve known heartbreak many times. Each time, I think I won’t survive it—that there is no way I’ll put the pieces back together again.”
“I know, Sparrow,” God said as He put His hand on my shoulder to comfort me. “I know.”
I didn’t fight the tears that fell as I walked the broken pot to the garbage can. When I lifted the lid, I wished I could throw my heart away, too, so that it would never hurt again.
“Your heart will go on,” God assured me.
I giggled in spite of my tears. “You’ve been watching Titanic again, haven’t you?” I smiled and wiped my nose on my sleeve.
I’m pretty sure God smiled back. “Why don’t you talk to your heart?” He asked me.
“Okay, I’ll do that. ‘Heart, what’s all this breaking into pieces stuff about?'”
I swear, my heart answered me and said, “I have to break in order to open.” I was stunned!
God patted me on my head like I was a little child. “See?” He said. “Your heart is smarter than you think. And stronger than you know.”
I walked back to the garden and sat down and pondered the wisdom of my heart. It has to break in order to open. In that instant, I could hear the birds singing on the wire above me. I felt the sun with her soft winter’s touch. I heard the leaves of the magnolia tree rustling on the breeze. And I knew. Yes, I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that my heart would go on.
“Do everything in love.”
~1 Corinthians 16:14
One hot summer’s afternoon, I opened my bedroom window to hear the sound of the rain. “Close the window,” my grandmother admonished me when she came into my room. “You’re letting all of the cold air out.” I turned the hand crank and slowly brought the pane of glass back to its closed position. I didn’t understand what she meant. I thought that she meant that we might run out of air. I was too young to understand about air-conditioning.
Recently someone told me that I love too much. Were they worried I might somehow run out? I thought of my grandmother’s warning on that hot afternoon. I shook my head in disagreement. I knew, just like I knew when I was a little girl, that there is enough. Air, love—it’s all the same. We don’t run out if we open the window or our hearts.
I missed out on the symphony of a July downpour that day I closed the window. I’d hate to think what I’d miss if I I close my heart.
“To every thing there is a season…”
Winter’s bony fingers reach down and hold everything in their icy grip. I shiver as I walk out the door to greet the day. My visible breath leaves tiny puffs of moisture hanging in the yard. I gaze at my garden; it looks forlorn. I’ve not seen a bee or a butterfly in weeks. The usual crowd at the birdfeeder has thinned to a single bird.
I love the winter in all of her unhurried quiet. It’s a time to let go and surrender to God, just as the trees let go of their leaves. They stand naked in their truth in the glare of the cold. We too can stand naked in front of God, stripped of all our adornments. This is the season for the naked truth. This is the season for deepening our relationship with God.
“…and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that
you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
I awoke to darkness still blanketing the Earth. I love this tender time of the day before everything springs into motion. In the stillness of the morning, I prayed for you:
Please put peace into every heart today. Hold every hand. Lead every step. Comfort every living creature with your love that surpasses understanding. Fill us all with the fullness of you. Amen.
Today, I hope that you know peace. I hope that you feel God’s immense love for you. I hope too, that you know my love for you. Tuck it into your pocket and take it with you everywhere you go today.