It’s amazing how God orchestrates the meeting of souls so that they are right where they need to be, when they need to be there. I am often awed as I look back at the way God has woven people into my life (even before my “journey of grief” began), knowing beforehand that He would use them as a tool of His comfort when I needed it the most. And … since my own journey began, He has brought others into my life to share their stories and their pain, so that I may be that tool of His comfort to them, as well. It’s not always easy. Sharing in the pain of others is … painful.
My mind has been crowded lately from a recent conversation with one who is hurting deeply from a tragic loss. Her heart is weary and lonely and crushed with the feeling of abandonment by those in Christ whom she had hoped (and expected) would be her strength in her time of great sorrow. I am reminded as I contemplate what she shared with me, that these feelings are not hers alone. I’ve heard these sentiments many times before, from many others who have grieved the loss of loved ones. This both saddens and challenges my heart.
I am not only called to know OF Christ, or even to only KNOW Christ … I am called to BE Christ. Christ was sent to be a proclaimer of ‘good’ news, to proclaim ‘freedom’ for the captives and ‘release’ from the darkness … and to be a binder of broken hearts.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1
So these should be MY priorities, as well. Remembering that the news I carry should be ‘good’ news of hope rather than that of judgement, that what I offer is ‘freedom’ in Christ, not bondage to my own wisdom and the one ‘true’ light should be shining brightly through me in the midst of the darkness that surrounds.
If I am to BE Christ, I should be about binding up the broken-hearted.
Binding up broken hearts isn’t accomplished with words offered from a podium or a page (even when they are good words), if they are not offered with compassionate action. Binding up broken hearts requires connection and presence. Wounds cannot be dressed with a distant heart — the healing balm of comfort must be tenderly and lovingly applied. I cannot BE if I do not DO.
This anonymous poem says it so aptly …
I was hungry and you formed a humanities club to discuss my hunger.
I was imprisoned and you crept off quietly to your chapel to pray for my release.
I was naked and in your mind you debated the morality of my appearance.
What good did that do?
I was sick and you knelt and thanked God for your health.
But I needed you.
I was homeless and you preached to me of the shelter of the love of God.
I wish you’d taken me home.
I was lonely and you left me alone to pray for me.
Why didn’t you stay?
You seem so holy, so close to God; But I’m still very hungry, lonely, cold and still in pain.
Does it matter?
As I encounter those who have suffered deep loss, I pray that I may bind up their broken hearts with compassionate action. I pray that I may tenderly and lovingly apply the balm of comfort to their wounded hearts.
I pray that if you know someone who has suffered deep loss, you’ll be able to do that, as well.
Let us all … BE and DO!
Let us all … BE present, BE connected.
Let us all … BE Christ!