Soft Hearted

love me forever by syntheses on deviantart.com

love me forever by syntheses on deviantart.com

We enter into a world full of broken people and shattered stories

Am I my brother’s keeper? Who is my neighbor and who can I ignore?
Can’t I just send the crowds away with their insatiable appetite and needs?
Or ignore the foreigner on my doorstep who cries out for her daughter?
Who can I, in my mental and physical fatigue, exclude so I don’t see?
 Where can I go to escape the cries of creation that fill my ears?
In the highest heaven they ascend to God rending the creator’s heart
And they echo from the walls of the endless abyss creating a hell of brokenness
 
I don’t want to see, I don’t want to care, I want to block it out
To plug my ears, cover my eyes, harden my heart and distract my mind
To hear no evil, see no evil and to feel no compulsion to speak back to evil
To wall my broken heart away behind immense walls of cold stone
Some safe shelter where I can isolate myself from the needs of the world
To buy in to the promise of despair, that in giving up hope I can save myself
That the promises of the kingdom of God are not worth the birth pangs of creation
And that by pulling away and shutting out the world that the pain may simply cease
 
From a young child I was taught to hide the feelings, the emotions, the pain
That to be a man was to be like some distant unloving picture of a god
Who was unaffected and unattached to the world around him
Whose heart did not break, but rather this deistic god was unmoved
And to live a life in that stoic god’s image was not to feel, not to love
For in feeling there was fault and in love there was weakness
And to be weak was to fail and to fail was to be worthless
It was a god that seemed to demand nothing and to give nothing
But its sacrifice was the very marrow of life, it sucked dry the bones
Exchanging the risk of love for the a hollow security of disconnection
For in love there is joy and pain, in losing there is loss and gain
And I could never exchange the fleshy heart in my breast for a stone one
Yet, from a young child I was taught to hide the feelings, the emotions, the pain
 
As a man I began to realize the pain and cries of a loving God
Foolish enough to love the world, to cry for its hurts, to enter its rejection
A God of crazy dreams of new creation that emerges out of the brokenness
Where shattered shields and broken spears become the instruments of harvest time
Where even in the midst of death, life can emerge from an unending well of love
That the world in all its broken people and shattered stories can be taken in
That it can be loved, not because it is loveable but because that is what the softhearted do
And that perhaps, in a company of bumbling fools who dare to hope and dream
Who put aside the false promise of despair and have the courage to love God’s beloved
That perhaps in those moments where stones slowly removed change mountains
We see the hope that the creation has long been waiting for
The instruments of God’s work being those who can take up the sensitivity of a child
To see the world as it is and to dare to believe that it can be better
And that the discomfort I feel is not weakness, but the strength of a soft heart
A heart not content to be locked behind walls of stone separate from the world
But rather that sees the evil, hears the evil and dares to speak and name the evil
And perhaps to do my small part in the struggle, for the dream of a better world
A world of compassion and justice and joy and love, the world that could be
To dream and speak that world into being one small act of love at a time
A world where hearts of stone are replaced by soft fleshy hearts
That dare to love, the courage to hope and the audacity to dream
Of a time where tears are wiped away, where pains are healed
And we can enter into a world of healed people and mended lives
 
Neil White, 2014
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