I love people. I love living in a vibrant diverse community where both in and out of the church I get to do life with some truly amazing people.
Thing is, as my life is full of people its also full of their stories. One of the challenges of this is that pretty much on a daily basis my heart is broken. I don't mean in the head tilt to the side, sad look on your face 'aw thats a sad story' kinda way. I mean in the drop to the floor, can't breathe, God you need to rock up and do something cause I don't have the words, kinda way!
I used to pray that God would change my heart. That he would bind it up with iron, generate a protective shield around it, toughen it up, make it unbreakable. I would spend hours earnestly pleading with God to sort it out and take away the pain and helplessness that comes with being heart broken by the life journeys of others. Oddly it consumed me far more than praying that those near to me would have no cause to have the heart breaking stories!
I recognise the inner 'fixer' in me the part of me that wants to provide a solution to my friends problems. Then there is the part of me that wants to stop others from encountering the same problem as my friends. I want to protect others and let my friends know that their pain will be the last pain that issue causes. This is the part of me that reacts in ways that challenges systems, generates activism and often gets me in trouble as my mouth runs away from me. But reality check, I can't stop people having their hearts broken.
Truth is I can't stop MY heart breaking and to be honest I have even stopped praying for God to change this about me. This week I have had the privilege of hearing some heart breaking stories and been thankful that I get to journey through the pain with people. I'm pretty sure its biblical to stand together even when life sucks!
So how about you? How do you handle heartbreak? Are you comfortable with it? Do you have any special ways of managing it?
The bible is littered with references to heart break but one of my favourites is this:
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken. Psalm 34:18-20