It was just a few weeks ago, as my Pastor spoke in church, that I thought about a feature of God that I haven’t really thought about before.
I don’t really know how to jump into this, but I’ll start with asking you a question. Have you ever been so hurt, you either couldn’t speak, or speaking caused more hurt?
Maybe you’ve suffered through an abusive relationship. And you’re the only one of your group of friends who’ve experienced that. Maybe they don’t know how to help or try to justify the abuser’s actions — not to hurt you but because they are trying to understand it.
Or, maybe it’s a a medical diagnoses that you’re tired of explaining. Or, the loss of job, and you’re having a hard time telling your wife you can’t provide. I don’t know what your pain is, but I know my own. We all wish pain wasn’t a part of life, but it is. We have to figure out how to handle it without letting it cripple us.
But harder than the pain, sometimes, is figuring out how to share that pain. How to speak of it without falling a part. Or how to share it without being hurt by someone’s “well-meaning” but very hurtful comments.
Some pain leaves our hearts completely shattered. Kind of like The Shapeless Heart:
The Shapeless Heart
I once had a heart: beautiful, fully shaped,
beating strong and true.
Until I met him…I hadn’t felt more alive.
Til’ my heart felt hurt and grew dim
For I saw a knife thrusted inside… Pulling it out slowly,
Bleeding profusely, angry, mad, hurt, yet I had to forgive … Slowly …
I felt worthless.. Over time my heart grew.
I could feel it heal…
Beginning to feel free.
I started again…
I felt like I could soar, conquer, live fully.
My heart didn’t see it coming…it was sliced and diced.
Vicious words cutting chunks out every chance it got.
Stabbed, betrayed from all sides..
I could feel my very life start to drain away… How could this happen
I stared at my heart and had no idea where to begin again.
Slowly… over time…
My heart started to heal…
It wasn’t the same though. The shape it once knew was no more. It didn’t beat as strong, but it still beat… Yet, still quite disfigured…
But, it is only heart I have to work with… I hated seeing my heart in this condition.
I could not tell what form it resembled… It was a mess: mushy, draping, struggling for any shape.
Angry at the sight of something once so strong — now so weak.
When I thought my heart couldn’t take one more blow, it then, was torn apart. Ripped in two. Lifeless, left bleeding out on the floor…
You, world, have won… I have no desire to try again. This heart is done… completely without shape… Flat lined… I heard a whisper…
“I can’t… There’s nothing left….My heart’s been stabbed, broken, punctured, torn in two.”
“Give it to Me.”
“It’s useless… Use someone else. My heart is unrecognizable … Why would you want this?”
“It’s the broken and disfigured hearts that I use… perfectly formed hearts cannot recognize other battered hearts… The ones that have been torn, stabbed, and chipped to pieces are the ones that became a balm that reaches out to other. The tears that come from a broken heart are the tears that comfort the next. It’s the shapeless hearts that bandage wounds. It’s the shapeless hearts that help shape other shapeless hearts. Your shapeless heart is my gift to the world”
But when our hearts are shapeless before they have been reconstructed, that is when they need the feature I realized that God has… gentle hands.
When you’re wounded, you need gentle hands. Any sudden movement will cause shooting pain. Gentle hands can slowly… ever so slowly reshape and construct the heart that once was full. But without those gentle hands, the heart will remain shapeless, bleeding out and unable to function.
I want to learn this lesson because I want to be the gentle hands and moldable heart for someone else. God binds up the broken hearted, but oftentimes He uses the broken-hearted to bind up another broken-hearted. His heart was broken for us; yet, He still bound up our hearts.
I realized after this thought about God’s gentle hands popped in my head that I had witnessed gentle hands in my physical presence. It was the hands of my family and friends, and my Pastor and his wife who have all had heartbreak, but faithfully turn around and help the broken hearts in their community. It’s their broken-hearts that reached out to mine. And for that, I will forever be grateful ❤️!