The day I got this heart is still very fresh in my mind. I remember lying on my couch in the early hours of the morning, before the sun had even come up, and just basking in the presence of God. I was praying and worshipping Him and then He spoke a word. He said, “I’m going to give you a heart transplant.” And me, in my naiveté said, “…ok.” And then, I started to cry out in anguish as I literally felt the pressure on my heart of God’s hand breaking up the stone. I’m not sure how long it took, but I knew the entire time that God was breaking up the tomb that held my heart. Years of what I will simply term “life” had caused me to become so hardened and bitter that I couldn’t hardly stand people. I truly believe I hated most everyone I knew, with the exception of a precious few. And even those, I struggled sometimes to love them fully, with all of myself. The pain was intense as God worked meticulously to break apart the stone in me. And when it was over, I immediately felt more alive than I had felt in years. I felt vulnerable and real. I felt capable of feeling deeply again. And I knew that God had worked a miracle inside of me. I had a heart of flesh again.
That was seven years ago, and I have lived with this heart of flesh all this time, loving people as best as I know how. I have allowed this heart to be vulnerable to people and I have survived rejection with my heart still intact. I have prayed over my heart so that no walls could be built up around it. Solomon says in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all things, guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life.” I have guarded my heart diligently. With all that being said, I will now admit that even then, I couldn’t keep my heart from being broken. But this time, it is a blessed thing. Jesus is breaking my heart for His people and it is a most wonderful thing.
I knew the moment it began to happen that Christ was breaking my heart. One of my students was sharing family drama with us over lunch and I looked up at another coworker who saw the despair on my face and encouraged me to quickly leave the table. I rushed from the lunch room with tears streaming down my face and quickly found a place of solitude to pull myself together. I began to pray, “Father, I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Am I being hormonal here?” And I heard him gently say, “I’m doing this because you asked me to break your heart for what breaks mine.” Oh, it hurt. And it happened from that day on, many times. Someone would begin to talk about their pain and I would just weep for them, really feeling their hurt in the deepest parts of myself. Situation I used to judge now caused me to fall to my knees in complete misery on peoples’ behalf. I saw humanity in pain and it hurt so bad. A student’s dog died and I cried. Another student didn’t get her way and I cried with her. My kids would express their pains and frustrations and I wouldn’t be able to do anything more than hold them and cry. Stories of accidents, shootings and bombing, orphanages, mental anguish, all the pain of a sick world caused me so much anguish. But today, I realized how deep the Lord has worked in me when I walked out of Maurices in tears. I had just seen a pair of jeans priced for $70 and walked out with the strangest mixture of frustration and hurt. My kids walked as quick as their legs could carry them, searching my face to seek me out. My daughter took my hand very gently and said, “Mom, what’s wrong?” I looked down into her worried eyes, stopped walking and told her, “There is a world of hurting and dying people out there, and yet somehow, we disregard that for the sake of $70 jeans to suit our pride.” Then I began to weep. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. The pain was too much. I know now how Jesus’ resolve took him all the way to the cross. Past the hatred and rejection, past the mockery and past the physical death. All the way down to the grave, all the way down to the bottomless pit where He stripped Satan of all final authority in the affairs of men. He did it because the pain was too much. He had watched people hurt for way too long. His heart was broken for a torn world ruled by pride and self-seeking men. His heart was broken for the innocent. He hurt deeply for all of creation that He so desperately loved. I feel so blessed to know a little of the love of my savior. And equally blessed to have my heart broken so that I can love fully the world that He loves. I know that without his help, I am not capable. Thank you Lord, for breaking my heart these past few weeks. Continue to work in me so I give all of myself in serving the world you came to save.