(A follow up to The Heart Breaks and Breaks.)
Only the broken heart knows. Only the broken heart can speak with clarity about love, for it is only the broken heart, languishing in the storm’s aftermath, that realizes the full impact of letting yourself love with abandon; and after we have fallen from the wall and have taken the great effort to glue all of our indiscriminate fragments back together, without or without the King, his men or their horses, we finally understand what is required of one who chooses to love and we make a choice.
It’s a simple choice, simple to understand in any case. Do I, can I, dare I love? So many ghost voices wail in the wind that we should not love. The sacrifice is not worth it. Pain is the only outcome. Rejection will be your theme. There is no treasure at the end of that road, only loss and disillusionment. And yet our scarred, painstakingly reassembled heart still longs to lose itself in that tranquil turmoil. Why? Because now, in it’s breaking and restoration, our heart has begun to realize its true capacity for love. The scars strengthen and stretch us.
Like many of you, I have wondered at the concept of a God who is so loving that He defines Himself by His loving kindness and mercy. The Apostle John famously wrote, “Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God. But anyone who does not love does not know God, for God is love.” Is this truly God? I look at our amazing penchant for selfish stupidity and I wonder two things: how is it possible to love such beings and why would He ever grant us the freedom to make such ridiculous wrecks of our lives? But my understanding is faulty and my wisdom is incomplete.
You see, if what I have written here is true, that only the broken heart can truly grasp love, then suddenly everything about Our Father, His Son and purpose make perfect sense. In our rebellion, we break His heart, and He loves us more. In our selfishness, we break His heart, and He loves us more. He reaches out to us through Jesus, we despise and reject Him and He loves us more. Like Wesley in the Pit of Despair, He cries out in ultimate suffering because He has lost His true love, again and again, and He loves us more. He sees our hurts, those bumps and bruises that we experience at every misstep and He loves us more. He watches us cry alone into the darkness, stark in our belief that He is not there, that no one is; believing that we are abandoned accidents of nature. He sees us try to numb our pain with anger and addiction as our tears fall echoing into the well of eternity and He. Loves. Us. More.
It is in this picture that we begin to understand God and the life we are to live. The lifestyle of love is the only lifestyle worth living, for as we define ourselves as lovers and we define everyone in our lives as our beloved, we find the true joy of the Divine. It is within the context of this light that we face our darkness and the breaking of our hearts, learning the full meaning of love; and as our poor shattered heart again is pulled together by ministering angels of Spirit and flesh we begin to understand what it is to love.
The broken heart is Godlike. It is true omnipotence and eternal life. For only the broken heart can love.
Sing us a song, Leonard.