Breaking wide open

I’ve never known extreme pain. And I am almost embarrassed to admit it. I’ve had my heart broken by boys, and I’ve ridden rollercoasters of change and uncertainty. But abuse? loss? poverty? I have been too fortunate {wince}.

Instead, my heart seems to break wide open each time I enter into a story of someone else’s extreme pain. There were many times I laid in bed at night, my mind running rampant, after hearing a child’s story of years of parental abuse at the child/adolescent psychiatric hospital where I spent my days. Then there was the time last year when I could not return to my online class discussion board for a week because the child trauma stories shared blackened my mind and literally made me sick to my stomach. And now this… A cherished blogger sharing stories from her current trip to Haiti—stories of children left orphaned after earthquakes, with nowhere safe to go, no food to eat, no clean water to drink. The word orphaned alone fills my eyes with tears and makes my stomach swirl. A vulnerable child, left utterly alone in the world, dear mother and father lost forever. My feeble mind attempts to imagine that extreme pain.

I swing back and forth on the pendulum of human suffering—embarrassed by my privilege and fortune, then overcome with sadness and outrage at the chaos of unjust pain, now unsure whether my breaking heart is a sign of weakness or strength. Yet lately there has been a still, small voice that sings the words from a song over and over again in my ear:

Break my heart for what breaks yours.

God, my heart breaks again and again for what I know breaks yours. I don’t know what that means or what that does, except that it can move me to action. If I will simply allow my cracked-open heart to move my feet forward, in any way I can.

Today that means I am moved to sponsor an orphaned child in Haiti through the grass roots, non-profit collective Help One Now. Would you consider doing the same here? Or letting your heart break wide open when pain moves across your path?

[photo credit]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s