My Broken Heart
I am discovering I have a broken heart. At least that is how it feels. I didn’t know I had one before I took the time to slow down.
I bought a rocking chair (glider) last week, and I have been sitting here rocking and looking out my window at the big Wyoming sky and what snow I can see from this angle.
Slowing down can help your heart speak. I keep finding layer after layer of disappointment. The disappointment feels much like a lack of energy to pursue dreams and goals. I keep rocking. It feels both happy and sad. Maybe as I rock, my heart will heal.
I am thinking of that line from the Old Testament that the disciples found fulfilled in Christ, “Zeal for your house will consume me” (John 2:17). I find that whenever it was that my heart broke, it damaged my zeal. I don’t feel very zealous these days. I have a hard time truly walking in a way that demonstrates I believe God died to live powerfully through me. My broken heart seems to get in the way of believing it.
For months I was part of a morning prayer group. These days it is harder to join since it meets at 4:30 AM in my time zone, and I don’t get off work until 10:30 PM. I joined this morning, and then fell back asleep. I don’t think I comprehended a single word of the prayers offered. There is a guy who prays faithfully that our dreams would never be too small. I forget his exact words, but the essence of the request is that our dreams for ourselves and each other would not be smaller than God’s dreams for ourselves and each other. I think my dreams and desires for my life are much smaller than God’s.
Now I am thinking of the two people on the way to Emmaus, who said their hearts burned within them as they walked and listened to Jesus explain Scriptures about himself. Maybe that is what I have right now – a burning, broken heart. One that hears the words of God and so wants them to apply to me too. A heart that wants these things to be true just as Jesus said they were even if I can’t yet see their reality.
They suffered massive disappointment. Their savior died. By all appearances God had majorly disappointed them. Their hearts burned. I wonder if they felt like I do now. I am earnestly hoping these things are true, but not yet sure that I have experienced them as such. I so want to see the reality of Christ’s words fulfilled in me.
These people saw Jesus and didn’t realize it was him. Then he broke the bread, and their spiritual eyes perceived what their physical eyes could not understand. Jesus disappeared from their physical sight when their spiritual eyes recognized him.
It’s an interesting phenomenon. My heart is burning within me. Maybe because Jesus surrounds me and is speaking to me, and I am not recognizing him. I wonder if their hearts ever quit burning? Was it the fire of a broken heart longing for comfort, or was it the burning of the Holy Spirit? Will this broken heart in me quit aching, burning, longing when my spiritual eyes open to God’s presence?
Jesus told the disciples that he had come to bring fire to the earth, and he wished it was already kindled. Before that fire could come, he had a baptism to undergo, and he was under constraint until that happened (Luke 12:49-50). I’ve always thought of the fire that Jesus brought as the Holy Spirit. Could it be that the people on the way to Emmaus had hearts that were burning with this fire before Pentecost? Was Jesus’ death and resurrection enough to make this fire possible? Was Jesus no longer under any constraint in bringing the Spirit into people? Is this burning inside me the Spirit longing for my spiritual eyes to be opened?
So many questions…
In the quiet of a small town in the Rocky Mountains, I am discovering a broken heart within me. It hurts. When will I see what is right in front of my eyes?by