From the man who after thirty years of faithful employment is told to clean out his desk to the piercing words of the oncologist, there’s nothing more we can do; from the heartrending accounts of fallen soldiers to the sad vacant faces of human trafficking —the world at times seems awash in tragedy. I imagine there are many of you, too, who have suffered great loss. The condition of your heart has not only been broken by sorrow, but crushed by the threat of ongoing emptiness.
- Empty promises.
- Empty nest.
- Empty pillow.
- Empty womb.
- Empty arms.
Broken hearts are empty hearts. What was once filled with faith, hope and love lies depleted, at risk of never risking again…for love always involves risk. Whether romantic love, parental love, friendship….hearts that are vulnerable are hearts that can break. When we meet the suffering part of love we stand at one of those crossroads where our choices will determine whether we put our hurting heart in a lock-box and place it on a shelf like an artifact in a museum….look but don’t touch. Or whether we bring it to the healer. I think it interesting that one of the distinguishing signs of the Messiah is that he would heal broken hearts (Isaiah 61:1). He seems to have a special place for us when we hurt.
For me, nothing compares to the power of his touch in my brokenness. His voice quiets my silent aching and reminds me that there is an emptiness that triumphs over all: “He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering…he took up our infirmities and carried our sorrows…was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities…and by his wounds we are healed” (Isaiah 53:3-5).
The empty tomb looms large enough to swallow up whatever our empty might be.
If your heart has been torn and you are facing the threat of ongoing emptiness, remember that the God of love is the God of redemption. He stands ready to heal…to fill…to restore.