Caring deeply can cost you. Costing you a heart that feels broken.
Broken hearted ain’t so bad. Jesus cared enough to weep. He wept over Lazarus. Mary caused a tear to stream down his cheek because He felt her pain, her loss, her misunderstanding about the big picture of what Jesus was up to with Lazarus.
Didn’t matter to Mary though. She misunderstood. I misunderstand. We all misunderstand what God is doing and we harden our hearts at times to not feel. To not care. To not feel human pain.
I often envy people who are more pragmatic than me. They have that thick skin and can detach from the thing that is uncomfortable to their heart. I desperately wish I was wired that way. I am not because I am a feeler.
What if though, the madness of caring is so that you can’t unfeel. You can’t undo your broken heart. All you can do is let go and enter that caring state of chaos into another person’s brokenness, just enough to care, to offer a cup of love and compassion to the one whose heart is jagged. The one who needs an ear or a hug to squeeze away their sadness.
It’s Scary To Lose Empathy
A dreadful thing is to get a tough heart because when you do you’ve lost the capability to weep with those who weep in their sorrow.
To lose empathy is scary.
To become callous in heart is to reject the tenderness of a broken heart over someone’s wrecked life or painful choices that have caused them brokenness. Even if they brought it on themselves.
It’s much easier to harden your heart and just let your backside be the face they see. The face of uncaring, uninterested, detached hearts can be a place of escape. But are they a place of compassion?
I’m certainly not suggesting rescuing or codependent behavior, rather empathy that makes you feel the pain of a broken life. To sit and just be support. To dignify the undignified.
I think Jesus demonstrated this over and over in his ministry. Unfortunately, the wayward child within me is focused on me, me, me. Sad isn’t it? I know. I know.
I think Jonah was a lot like this. Not wanting to face his bad attitude towards the people God called him to minister, He catapulted in a different direction. His call to love turned into a call to leave. Leave them there all to themselves.
If truth be known, Jonah could be quite judgie. I mean the guys provision is a whale because of his own choices and yet He is judging harshly the people God had called him to minister too.
As if their sin was worse than his own. Attitude always determines where we land, from the pulpit or the pew, it makes no difference.
The Devil’s Whisper
The devil loves to whisper to the listening ear the damning message of “your doing too much” or “not doing enough.” He’s a trickster, but nothing knew with him; same tricks different day.
Point? Love deep and hard because that’s how God loves us.
Everyone is desperately trying to figure out who they are and why life is kicking them in the face at times. This is the brokenness of humanity in all of our frailness. We are perplexed when we slow down and quiet down enough to hear the loudness of God. Loudness that speaks to a listening heart.
Be Still and Know
Being still takes discipline and breaking the addiction of busy. Busy is attractive. It provides a great deflection from thinking about things that gnaw inside you. Busy helps numb like a drug.
Tasks for women are an automatic given, but what if they are just a flurry of activity inviting you into a tunnel. A tunnel to avoid painful past events or current ones. A tunnel to distract from caring, from feeling. It’s a beautiful temptation because the flurry of activity dulls the ability to stop and process pain.
Busyness and our world of constant stimulation from social media and many things to keep us disconnected is a drug we crave. It helps us numb, not kneel.
The Addiction of Busy
Like an addict slapping their vein we whip out social media or go shopping. When we kneel we start to feel. The secret place begins to open up and swallow up the busy place. The busy place we go to in order to avoid, in order to disconnect, to not think. It’s a distracted life promising much but under delivering. Leaving us numb but needy and empty.
Carving space from your busyness for God and others keeps you feeling. Keeps you present with the pain of your own and the pain of another person’s trials.
The Gift of Feeling
What a gift to feel, care and be present in a world of busy pursuits. Tasks that distract us from feeling are the nemesis of our soul.
What about you? What keeps you busy? What do you turn to in order to ‘not feel’?