bind up the brokenhearted.

I’m going through Breaking Free.  Again.  Might be the third time.  Fortunately it’s recently been re-released so at least I got a new book instead of going another time through my ratty, torn up copy with an early-90s cover.

The fun thing about going through a study again is that there’s so much that’s different.  What challenged and convicted me to my core the first time through is not the same thing that is shaking me now.  I’ve had to wrestle through that – am I numb to this?  Can I really say I’ve achieved “victory” in an area – isn’t God always moving and growing and changing me?  But I have concluded that it is cause for celebration – and much humility – to recognize the areas that God has penetrated and changed my heart.  To rejoice in the work he is doing in me – and understand that I have in no way “arrived” anywhere.  In fact, victory in one area most often reveals an area of sin more hidden, more deeply engrained, and far more painful to root out.

This past week I went through lessons about heartbreak.  About Christ’s mission on earth to “bind up the brokenhearted” (Isaiah 61 / Luke 4:16-21).  I recalled the first time I read these lessons – I just WEPT.  Cried and cried at the recollection of years of heartbreak – at the absence of innocence far too early; bawled over the memory of so much betrayal and loss.  The realization that Christ’s ministry was with my healing in mind was new and overwhelming.

This time, though, I didn’t feel much.  It was disconcerting.  Am I out of touch with your heart, Jesus?  Do I not believe in your healing?  Do I not believe I need your healing?  

I don’t believe it would be accurate to say with finality that I. am. healed.  Surely more heartbreak will come in this broken world.  But I did get to celebrate a sweet moment recognizing that, this time, the pain wasn’t so raw.  It wasn’t still bleeding.  In fact, it was a distant memory of a life from which I’ve been redeemed – a life whose consequences I no longer have to bear – a life that has been laid at Jesus’ feet.  To no glory of my own – if I had my way I’m sure I would still be wallowing in my shame.

I don’t write much poetry any more, and I feel a little silly sharing it, but it was a picture I could not get out of my mind of this process.

Bind up the brokenhearted.

Surely these words have pierced my wounded flesh
Confronting
my despair
and flooding my soul
with a glimmer of
Hope.

The hand that mends
the cracks and tears –
that presses on my heart as it
hemorrhages –
as pieces fall
to the ground
one
by
one.

Hands
covered in blood –
mine or His?
It’s no longer certain.

They hold the pieces together.

Hands
that pump and massage
and breathe life
once again.

But it hurts.

So I brush the hands
away.

I hand him needle and thread.
Gently
they poke and prod
and bind each piece back in its rightful place.

He binds up the brokenhearted.

Yes, these words –
I knew them to be true –
My heart was bound –
though it felt a bit Frankenstein –
all its broken pieces held together –
now with a wall built around –
a fortress –
my broken, Frankenstein heart –
kept tightly –
in a box.

I did not give my heart away any longer.
And the life it breathed stayed hidden.
Perhaps un-alive –
Perhaps turned to stone.

But those hands –
still bleeding –
they weren’t finished.

I had given up too quickly.
Pushed them away –
Panicked –
Built my own wall instead.

They held my heart once again.

Plucked the thread away
string
by
string.

I screamed and cried
and kicked
and tried to run
as the pieces fell once again –
with every drop
I felt
the pain
I had tried so hard to avoid.

But the hands –
they held me tightly –
they clung to my shoulders
squared
until my eyes were raised
and I saw
the Face
that accompanied
the Hands.

He bent to pick up the pieces
one
by
one

and with deep sadness and sorrow in his eyes
I realized –
perhaps for the first time –
that each rip and tear –
had broken his heart too.

This time, he did not just put the pieces
back
as I had once demanded –

This Time.
He showed me his scars –
and gave me a brand new heart.

One Response

  1. wow. such good imagery. you should write poetry more often. Love your heart and definitely celebrating with you!

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