Something I’ve been learning lately is when hearts break they don’t un-break. It seems simple but I guess I haven’t known this or forgot about it for a while. But just like a vase that shatters on the ground, our hearts shatter when we hit the cold hard ground of reality. And we can frantically try to glue the pieces together all we want but the quicker we glue the messier it gets. Pieces don’t fit right. The glue smears all over. But that’s us, right? That’s our culture. Let’s just medicate it all away as fast as we can. Take a drug. Read a blog. Eat some ice cream. Make the pain go away. That’s all that matters. Just make – it go – away.
One of my favorite pastors (he likes to go by Kevin) asked this question the other day, “What does the Bible have to say about little people like us in a big world with big problems?” I love that. Little people. It fits, doesn’t it? Broken hearts and broken homes and broken countries, this is the world we live in. We are little people in a big world with big problems. So I guess I can see why our first instinct would be to self-medicate, to numb our senses from the big problems. We’re so little, what can we do against financial ruin? What can we do against heroin addiction? What can we do against the family-shattering pain of divorce? We’re just little people.
But what would happen if we actually acted like little people instead of trying to play God? I mean, God is the only one who can heal a broken heart. Sure, we can try medicating with a new relationship or a new job or a new outlook on life. But in the end do those really heal? Or are they just another glob of glue, another attempt to hide the cracks? At the end of our lives does the glue really mend the cracks, or is it just harder to see through them to what’s truly hurting?
So what if when our hearts break we decided to actually be little people and just be broken? What if we slowed our frantic minds, put down the pieces, stopped sniffing the glue and just sat in the pain? Maybe we’re made to break. Maybe there is a reason why we are so fragile. Maybe the pain is pointing to something larger than ourselves and if we numb it we might be missing out on a whole lot of good.
When Kevin asked the question he was telling the story of a woman named Naomi. She lost both of her sons and her husband. Her heart had broken. But she didn’t take out the glue. She didn’t pretend to have everything figured out. She didn’t convince her two widowed daughter-in-laws that everything was going to be alright. No, she changed her name to Mara, which means “bitter”. Like a little person, she sat in her pain. She didn’t pretend to know what God was doing and worship Him with numb dancing and rejoicing. No, her worship was more of a painful surrendering, like a broken vase that can’t help but pour itself out.
So I think that is what the Bible says about little people in a big world with big problems. We have the freedom to be little, to be broken. We don’t have to pretend that we are porcelain-perfect people because we aren’t. We’re cracked and bruised and leaking. But I think it’s when we realize just how little and shattered and helpless we are that we can truly find healing. A healing that looks through the cracks to what is deep within us, to what is truly hurting, and places a sacred shining treasure.
For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ. We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.
– 2 Corinthians 4:6-12