“Break my heart for what breaks yours.” It’s a religi-speak statement that catches our attention, doesn’t it?
For anyone that’s ever experienced a broken heart, the pain is great, vast, and even unbearable. So how could we ever possibly ask for a broken heart? For a pain like that? It just doesn’t make sense.
Yet what’s meant by this statement is asking Jesus – the ultimate High Priest, the King of Kings, the Hope of the World, for a revelation of what breaks his heart – as in the Jesus who already bore all of our brokenness on the cross.
The purpose and beauty of asking Jesus for a breaking like this is…he’s also the healer.
If we believe Jesus was sent to this Earth to redeem, the work can’t stop with us. It has to continue with us. We are his handiwork – “he’s created each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, the work we had better be doing” (Ephesians 2:10 MSG).
When our hearts are broken, we’re deeply affected enough to actually find a way to bring about positive change. We pray with conviction; without ceasing. We’re moved to action. We’re in a sense, awoken — unable to sit still, stand-by, and watch sin win.
One of my all-time favorite quotes by the brilliant C.S. Lewis is this:
“It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us; it is the very sign of His presence.”
If you are a sinner, if I am a sinner…(oh wait, confirmation, we are both guilty and fall short of the glory of God – Romans 3:23) then what a gift it is to still have direct access to his glory and shine with the light of his presence!
By something as unglamorous as seeing all the dirt!? Again, it just doesn’t make sense!
But understanding is not how we reach the heart of God. It is by knowing – by desiring a relationship with him and seeking his word above all we become transformed into his likeness and empowered by the renewing of our minds (2 Corinthians 3:18; Romans 12:12).
I’ll be honest, generosity and service are not exactly my disposition. Lord knows, they’re not even my strongest gifts! But hospitality? Exhortation? Teaching? Bring it on!
So you know what makes me know God’s at work in my heart and mind even more than when I’m excelling in my gifts? When I’m giving. When I’m in service. When I’m seeing the dirt and grabbing a shovel to help clean it up.
Regardless of what your natural or spiritual gifts are, I love these two scripture translations referenced on Deanne Leblanc‘s blog post titled, Heart Swap:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Again, the same verse in The Message version:
“I’ll pour pure water over you and scrub you clean. I’ll give you a new heart, put a new spirit in you. I’ll remove the stone heart from your body and replace it with a heart that’s God-willed, not self-willed. I’ll put my Spirit in you and make it possible for you to do what I tell you and live by my commands.” Ezekiel 36:26
He trades our stone hearts for one of flesh – a heart that’s living, breathing, feeling, and able to love sacrificially in return! We don’t even have to wonder when, where, and how we can step into the fight against sin and injustice because he will be there, leading us down every turn.
So then, when our hearts break for what breaks his, we’re awoken to the limiting nature of our humanness, in exchange for the vast contrast of God’s limitless character. His redemptive nature takes even the most painful of circumstances and still finds a way to reassemble every last broken piece and achieve his purposes.
The Bible tells us there is a time for suffering, and then a time for it to end, and then a time when the Lord delivers us from it all (Psalm 34:19, 1 Peter 5:10).
In these times when as a nation, and even as a world, we are collectively burdened with the hate, hurt, and hopelessness of this world, we are also given access to the very opposite. Complete and total healing. Restoration. Profound hope and salvation.
A saving of our souls.
Even by definition, salvation is the preservation or deliverance from harm, ruin, or loss.
Just as we are encouraged here:
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body…” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
I can’t imagine what so many families have been going through and I don’t pretend to know. My hope and prayer for us all is that we might draw to God and to each other in the face of these devastating events. May we actually pause to say the prayers we hashtag on social media.
In both word and action, may we not just feel the breaking but follow with a responsibility to rebuild with more fervor, more faith, and fuller hearts united in pursuit of God’s truth.
Now is not the time be silenced but to raise the volume.