I opened my heart a few days ago to an old wound and a person that knew the history. It was hard and full of tears and self-doubt. Momentarily, I felt regret for being so raw. I even uttered apologies, but in the depth of my soul I knew that the sharing of a wound is often the start of the healing of a wound. I timidly offered my broken up to Jesus. And in this offering of my broken, I simply found the beautiful gift of more of Jesus.
Too often, I feel this need to carry my hurts alone. Maybe, I think it is too personal, too intimate to allow anyone into my silent suffering. Perhaps, I am convinced that strong people bandage their scars and keep moving. Maybe I am afraid that others will not find my hurt to be worthy of the pain that it has placed on my life. Maybe, I am just too ashamed. Sometimes, I realize some wounds are self-inflicted. There are a million things that can go with a million hurts.
I've been reading some very powerful things on the brokenness of life. It is eye-opening to walk into the depths of the wounds of this world. We all carry hurt. We all cause hurt. We all fall short of everything we desperately do not want to fall short in. We hurt, we harbor, we hesitate. -And then we grieve. Rarely, do we really heal. Mostly, we all want healing but not if it causes exposure.
I am beginning to see that the lie of this world is to take our hurts and seal them inside. Our hurts threaten to crack us open and expose our soul. We fear exposure. We fear honesty. We fear the very appearance of weakness. We place great value on stoics. What does it say of a soul if they are cracked open, exposed with the hurt dripping out?
What if broken, open hearts are not to be feared? Even I have stood under the shade of a towering tree with the knowledge that the trunk of strength began as a very broken seed. I know the truth that it only grew from the ripping open of it's very core. What does this tell me about my broken? What does it tell me about God's redemption of broken things?
I love this sentence I recently read. "The wounds that never heal are always the ones mourned alone."1 It is those silent weights kept locked in the depths of a heart that never get oxygen, never get reprieve, never get healing. You see, I am learning that brokenness can only heal brokenness. It is when we are willing to pour our own brokenness into given-ness that healing begins. When I can take my hurt and expose it to your hurt, we find strength to walk our hurts boldly into the light where God can wrap us with His healing Hand.
Didn't Christ model this for us? Didn't He break Himself into this world to pour Himself into our brokenness? He took our hurts, our sins- and split Himself to pour out His healing. To grasp a wound so tightly is to withhold it from finding the healing that is freely pouring out to us still.
Maybe if you knew that I feel the pulse of anger when my children disappoint, or that I too have the flash of fury when those nearest to me do not meet my expectations- maybe if I am honest and share this together we can share our broken and find mercy. Maybe if you knew that my heart was split years ago to a lost love, you too could split your heart open about your great loss. Maybe the splitting, fighting feelings we all clutch really do just need to split on open and expose the rawest of pains so that the brokenness of our Savior can pour into our lives and give us the healing we all desperately need. Maybe instead of clenched fists we need open palms. Broken, open hands that reach out instead retract within. Christ on the cross was spread eagle, not curled into a self-protecting ball.
But how do we do it? How do we breathe in courage? How do we look at Satan, the father of all lies, right in the face and shout that we are not afraid- we are not going to cling to the fear he feeds us! We are not going to nurse silent wounds.
We can only do it when we fling open our arms, our hearts, our brokenness to Jesus. Jesus spilled for us, and we don't have to hide. We take our broken, cracked-open-bleeding hearts straight to His cross and ask for more. More of Him. More of Jesus. And He will always give us more. Then, we take that more and pour it on other broken hearts. We pour and pour more of Him, and He fills and fills. He fills the cracks, the broken places. He fills with healing so that healing can be poured out.
I am daring to live my life more open, more cracked so that it can be more filled. I know that I can only pour out to others what has been poured into me, poured over my own brokenness.
-Jesus, I reach with palms open with my broken to You, the only One that can fill, the only One that can heal. Help me to open my broken so that I can pour out You...
1. Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way (Grand Rapids: Zondervan 2016)223.