It was a comedian who said, “If broken hearts were commercials, we’d all be on TV.” In some strange way he was saying we each have a broken heart, not physically I hope, but inside, where no-one else can see.
One of the most popular groups of the 1970s was the Bee Gees. They sang a song that asked five questions and added one plea:
“How can you mend a broken heart? How can you stop the rain from falling down? How can you stop the sun from shining? What makes the world go round? How can you mend this broken man? How can a loser ever win? Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.”
You might recall the song. The Bee Gees never answered that question. But we know many people have broken hearts because of all sorts of reasons, the death of a loved one, divorce, loss of a job, loss of status, loss of health, betrayal by a friend, loss of a child and, yes, loss of your childhood. All of these reasons can leave you a broken man or woman.
What is a wound? If you have ever had an injury or a deep cut, you know how painful it is and how it hurts to be touched. Oftentimes sorrow and loss are like deep wounds. They can be so painful that it seems no one or nothing can make the pain go away. Sometimes our heart is so broken that we can’t even express the words and nothing seems to take the pain away.
Is there hope for healing a broken heart? Something or someone has just broken your heart. You were caught off-guard by a betrayal, a shocking behaviour, or loss of a loved one. Suddenly you are feeling like you’ve lost all hope, you can feel a physical aching in your chest that leaves you wounded and scarred. How can you ever hope to recover or discover what steps will end this suffering?
We know that emotions are a vital part of the way we are made. Yet we can’t understand why it takes so long to heal from emotional injuries and others try to help. Many times our wounded heart is the result of someone else’s actions toward us, and other times it’s because of actions we took. Sometimes it’s a combination of both.
Like a deep wound, a broken heart will not heal overnight. Like some medicines that burn when you apply them to a skin wound, so can a well-meaning friend who says the wrong thing at the wrong time. Who wants to pour rubbing alcohol on an open wound? We search the stores to find an ointment that we can apply to our skin wound that will not burn and then cover it gently with a Band-Aid. It’s the same way with our broken heart. We need the right ointment to bring about healing.
They say time heals all wounds. But what about the wounds that people can’t see? We can’t go to the doctors and say I have a broken heart, can you fix it! So who can we go to when we have a broken heart, is there anyone who cares? So who is the broken hearted? The woman who lost her husband and son in a freak car wreck. The attractive mother of three who was abandoned by her husband. The child who was hit and killed by a passing garbage truck as he was getting off the school bus. His mother, who was waiting for him, witnessed the tragedy. The parents who found their teenager dead in the forest behind their home. He had hung himself from a tree with his own belt.
Christian songwriter Twila Paris sang,
“For the young abandoned husband left alone without a reason; For the pilgrim in the city where there is no home; For the son without a father, for his solitary mother; I have a message: He sees you. He knows you; He loves you. He loves you! Every heart that is breaking tonight; Is the heart of a child that He holds in His sight; And Oh how He longs to hold in His arms; Every heart that is breaking tonight!”
What she means is this, Jesus sees you in your pain and He cares about your pain. Through Jesus, God heals the broken heart.
Isaiah 61:1-3; “The Lord has chosen and sent me to tell the oppressed the good news, to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom for prisoners and captives..the Lord has sent me to comfort those who mourn..He sent me to give them flowers in place of their sorrow.”
The pain of past hurts rules many lives. It simmers, it stifles, and sometimes it shuts a person completely down. However, God heals hurts. He is waiting and ready to touch our deepest pain if we will let Him. In a sense, His healing is another divine exchange, in which we offer to Him our hurt and He offers to us His healing.
Psalm 147:3 states, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (or sorrows).”
Brokenhearted refers to the wounds in the innermost portion of ourselves. Most of us do not know how to go about receiving this wonderful healing gift of God. Some of us have not been aware that this level of deep healing was available. I like what Max Lucado says in his marvellous book “He still moves Stones”
“Why did God leave us one tale after another of wounded lives being restored? So we could be grateful for the past? So we could look back with amazement at what Jesus did? No. No. No. A thousand times, no. The purpose of these stories is not to tell us what Jesus did. Their purpose is to tell us what Jesus does. ‘Everything that was written in the past was written to teach us. Paul penned. ‘The Scriptures give us patience and encouragement so that we can have hope.’ (Romans 15:4) These are not just Sunday School stories. Not romantic fables. Not somewhere-over-the-rainbow illusions. They are historic moments in which a real God met real pain so we could answer the question, ‘Where is God when I hurt?’ He’s not just doing it just for them. He is doing it for me. He’s doing it for you.”