I love my spouse. I hope that’s not terribly surprising. Among the things I love: a quirky sense of humor and a quick wit, a love of reading, and a deep compassion for animals and children. Among other creatures, one of our cats is a rescue from a flower pot where he’d been abandoned. We’ve agreed, as part of our informal marriage contract, to skip episodes of our favorite tv shows that show children being hurt, and our family doesn’t watch animal movies when I’m home. I know, how will they grow up properly without watching “Old Yeller?” They can watch it anytime they want, as long as I’m not around to see it.
Beyond depriving my children of animal movies, there’s something that connects us about what breaks our hearts. A cause or event that breaks both our hearts, makes us more likely to show up to volunteer for a cause, attend a event, or find ways to share childcare so one of us can be present. Heart break motivates us as a team.
I think the same must be true of our relationship with God. When we see the world as God does, we just might find hunger, poverty, violence, and any kind of dehumanization breaking our hearts. What must God feel seeing a child going to bed hungry? What does God feel surveying creation and seeing strip-mined mountains, a plastic trash island in the oceans, and hurricane after devastating hurricane?
This week we’ll ask God to “Break my heart for what breaks yours.” Not to stay in a place of hurt, but rather to be moved to respond to the pain with what else, but love. Not a love of infatuation, easy words and little else. No, a love that reaches out with food for the hungry, comfort for the sick, companionship for the lonely, and care for this beautiful planet we call home.
I’ll see you on Sunday,