Ashes

Broken hearts are all around us.  Whether it is because of our own felt guilt or imposed guilt by others we all have events in our lives that break our hearts.  These can either unite us with God or drive us further from God.  The choice of how we react is up to us.

I was assistant Youth Missioner and would run the Junior High programs, my boss came to me wondering how we could get more of the good kids, those who had good grades, college bound, from good homes, to come more often and help in the leadership of the weekends.  These kids were busy with other activities and when they were free they might say yes to being on staff.  The ones we would get again and again were the ones who came from broken homes, had experienced the death of a classmate, had gone through a war in their country, were depressed, had issues with authority, well you can get the picture.  They were all broken and the events were their lifeline for working it all out in their lives. They discovered there the grace of God and the community of believers who would support and love them through the difficult times in their lives.

Our broken hearts are not something to be ashamed of or hide away. The Psalmist tells us that the "acceptable (sacrifice) to God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart (51:17)."  So a being broken is not a bad thing because it breaks us open in new ways to the love of God.  Being broken reminds me of the prophet Jeremiah who in chapter 18 goes to the potter's house and sees that the potter ruins a vessel on the wheel.  Instead of throwing it out the potter remakes the vessel into something useful. We tend to forget that when Jesus showed himself to the disciples after the resurrection he came to them with all his scars. They weren't healed hadn't disappeared, but they couldn't cause Him hurt any longer.  That is what it is to be remade, to offer our broken hearts and entrust them to Jesus.  Offer your broken heart to Jesus this lent, it will make all tithing new.