Break my heart.
I haven’t prayed that prayer in a long time. But lately, it seems like my only hope.
While I was sick with the flu, I didn’t get to a single recovery meeting for almost two weeks, a new record for me.
When it was time to pick my life back up—meetings and friends and caring and coffee and crying and talking—I was surprised by my own resistance. I understood for the first time how people who miss too many meetings begin not to miss them at all…
It’s a human thing, I suppose. Stay home long enough and pretty soon you’re curled in on yourself, like a worm in the sun, gone brittle and dead. Before you know it, isolation seems appealing and people seem like work.
So I prayed, God break my heart.
On Friday, I posted about Justin’s Lee’s book, Torn. I got a flood of positive feedback, as well as some hurt reactions and hard questions in my email box.
Despite my early determination not to, I took the kind but critical comments to heart and took the supportive ones for granted. I ached all afternoon, wondering if I’d made a mistake. Confusion replaced compassion as I fretted about what people thought.
This wasn’t quite what I had in my mind when I prayed for God to break my heart.
And then I realized something. I had a bunch of emails in my box that weren’t about Justin’s book. They were people crying out for help—women who didn’t give a rip about whether my church welcomes gays or if my theology on sin is off.
One woman wrote, “I drank today after 14 years of sobriety. …How will I tell my husband the truth?”
A single mom wrote, “I’m a Christian woman in ministry and last week I got a DUI. I can’t go to jail. I’ve got two kids who need me…”
A secret alcoholic wrote, “I’m just like you. No one suspects the truth. I can’t make it through a single night without a drink. …How did you ever stop?”
Reading these emails did for me what meetings often do. The pain in their voices broke through my self-centered numbness so that I could feel compassion again—and want to.
They reminded me that this is why I blog—because people hurt and I want to help. I felt my heart break open all over again.
And I think I’m going to leave it that way for a while.