break my heart

February 19, 2010 at 3:34 am 4 comments

It’s been a journey.  I’ve been learning to trust, learning to love, and learning to be vulnerable.

Over the past few months, God has been opening my eyes to something in my life that I definitely don’t like.  I’ve been building walls around my heart, trying to protect myself out of fear.  It was hard for me to understand, at first, why I’ve been doing that.  I thought that most people built walls after they were hurt – and frankly, I’ve had an amazing childhood.  There’s been no kind of that trauma to make me wall up.

 But I do have a very sensitive heart.  And it hurts me when I hear of others’ pain and I can’t do anything about it; it hurts me to feel helpless.  I hear of something on a giant scale like Haiti, and I can’t even wrap my mind around all the pain.  I know one family battling for their child’s life, something no one should have to deal with.  And my heart breaks, because I can’t do anything about it.  I can’t make it go away; can’t erase the suffering.  What I can do to help – prayers, and a tiny bit of money here and there – seems too puny to be worthwhile.  It’s not really going to make a difference.

So I’ve tried to block myself from feeling others’ pain because I hate not being able to take it away.  I don’t lift them up in fervent prayer and suffer alongside them as the Bible calls me to do…because I don’t want to be hurt.

But then two things happened.  First, I realized what I was doing.  Second, God began prompting me that that wasn’t right…that I needed to open my heart to compassion; to feel and love without abandon and let him take care of me.  There’s a line from the song “Hosanna” that has literally been stuck in my head for months, a line that has become a prayer.  “Break my heart for what breaks Yours; everything I am for your kingdom’s cause…” 

Break my heart for what breaks Yours

Was I willing to pray that, and really mean it?  Could I trust God enough, be vulnerable enough, to offer Him my heart – and ask Him to break it?  My Aslan is not a tame lion.  He is good.  He can be trusted.  But He makes no promises about keeping my heart whole and happy and unscarred.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that He promises it will be broken.   

Am I willing let Him – to ask Him – to do what He wants in my heart and my life, even if that means pain, even if that means breaking my heart?  Can I trust Him to bring beauty from the pieces? 

It’s taken a lot of wrestling – with myself, with my understanding of the character of God.  But it’s been a beautiful wrestling, and a beautiful discovery.  And I can pray that prayer and mean it now, with all my heart.  I can trust Him with my heart, even if He breaks it. 

I love this quote by Ruth Stoll: “If my life is broken when given to Jesus, it will be because pieces will feed a multitude, while a loaf will satisfy only a little lad.” 

He’s pushing me to love, to have compassion, to pray.  To bear other’s burdens, no matter what the cost. 

I’ll confess I’m still in the very beginning stages of this journey.  I’ve finally moved to the point where I can pray this prayer.  But it’s still my habit, my initial response, to wall off my heart.  To say, “Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine the pain,” and try not to think about it. 

There’s a fine line here, too – for in bearing another’s burdens and suffering alongside them, I am not to take their worries and feelings literally upon myself and spend hours imagining that pain. Which I am wont to do.  But God does not give grace for my imaginations.  He does give grace for me to mourn with them, and to pray, even when that feels like I’m not doing anything, even when I feel helpless.


Entry filed under: faith.

On poetry and waiting trusting and spring break

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. cindyinsd  |  February 19, 2010 at 4:21 am

    I read something on someone else’s blog a few days ago that made a profound impact on me. That we know God hears and answers our prayers because we know He loves us! Wow! Yes, that’s right. He loves us, and while we might not get the answer we think we want, we can trust that He sees the whole picture and knows how best to deal with the situation.

    What you said about not wanting to hear about other people’s pain hits home with me. For a long time I avoided hearing those stories because I had had enough of my own pain and didn’t feel equipped to deal with any more. Only that’s lack of trust–thinking He will give me more than I can handle. I’m not supposed to “handle” it. I’m supposed to give it to Him, knowing that He can and will care for those people. It’s not up to me.

    Truly an excellent post–you bring up such relevant points and do it well. Thanks! 🙂


  • 2. Annie  |  February 19, 2010 at 4:49 am

    love this! I love that line from “Hosanna” as well. I know we have only just “met,” but I’m hoping we can support and pray for each other as we embark on this journey God has prepared for us. He is good!

  • 3. Jessina  |  February 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm

    I know what you mean, Megan. I’ve sort of gone through that myself, particularly when I participated in that peace essay contest last year and had to immerse myself into the worlds of these women who were having the worst possible things done to them. It was painful just to read about it, so how much more unimaginable painful would it be to experience it? And the sheer number of people who face horrendous difficulties is so incomprehensible!

    I love the Ruth Stoll quote, by the way!

    And although this might break your heart a little more, there’s this really wonderful post with lots of pictures on this other blog I read about Haiti (the woman’s husband went to help after the earthquake): I thought it was really neat and that you might enjoy it.

    lots of love and hugs! and an e-mail coming soon!

  • 4. Joanna  |  February 25, 2010 at 5:44 pm

    I echo, O Lord, break my heart for what breaks Yours.


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