It was a lesson I learned early, and I might add painfully, in my life – just because a broken bone is set doesn’t mean that the injury is immediately and completely healed. What is true for a broken bone is also true for a broken heart.
What is a broken heart? We hear so much about this condition in songs and stories and the everyday conversations of life. A broken heart is a heart that can no longer move. It is paralyzed. It is a heart that can no longer soar or stroll and as a result is unfit and unable to take its place and part in the world.
So, to heal a broken heart means that its ability to move, to do in life what it was created to do, is restored. But just because the break is set doesn’t mean that the wound is healed. It may actually take quite a while for a complete restoration to take place. In fact, even the Lord doesn’t promise that the hurt will be immediately healed. What He promises is that He will immediately bind it up. He will stop the bleeding so that we can move forward, in spite of the hurt, and do what we’ve been called to do.
That raises a question: if Jesus promises to bind up our broken hearts, what splint does He use? What element does He use to bind up the wounds of those hearts once-broken? I think that it is the sympathy with another one’s pain. It is the ability to realize that I don’t suffer alone. My sympathy for another binds up my own outflow. It keeps me from becoming so egotistical to think that I am the only one who has ever gone through anything like this. I realize that this horrible thing that hurts so much is not something that is exceptional with me. I no longer see the storm cloud as something unique in my life. I realize that it rains on everybody – the just and the unjust alike.
This thought alone helps to stop the flow from my broken heart. That’s why I refuse to show the sore. That’s why I don’t walk down the streets crying out that I’m the only one who’s ever gone through anything like this. My binding says to me, “Just think how your friend must feel. He’s walking down the same street of sorrow that you are.” It calls me to count the burdens of those who pass by and in my counting I forget about the burdens I am carrying.
I am learning that when I am laboring and am heavy laden to rejoice that I am bound with His yoke. That is the only thing that can truly bind my broken heart. What is the yoke. Humanity. It is the sense of a common hurt. That’s why there is nothing that will so fully and completely cover my personal hurts like the cross of Jesus.
“Lord, let me join the caravan of the cross. Allow me to carry it down the Dolorosa. Give me the strength to share in Your pain, because there is nothing else that will so fully and finally bind up my wounds.”
Now, the order is not what we naturally think. We are not relieved of our burden to be able to bear the burdens of others. We bear the burdens of others in order to be able to bear ours. If I stand all alone at night and stare into the dark waters all I will see is the shadow of my own sorrow. That’s why I long for the shadow of the Savior and the burden that He carried – the burden of the whole world. O, to see His image in the water, and image marred with man’s sorrow. Seeing the heat and restlessness of the hearts of others will always cause my heart to be the same. His shadow will send to me light. His darkness, my dawn. In carrying His cross I will find that mine has become light. The sorrow I feel for His tears will wipe all of my tears away. My bleeding heart will be bound when I hear Him sweetly say, “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord!”