Heart to Heart: hurt

Sometimes you need to hurt, to remind yourself that you care.
Sometimes you need to cry, to remind yourself that you feel.

We feel so much but are often too busy or distracted to sort through the feelings. We have thoughts of regret or disappointment, but they are quickly pushed to the side, stored in a box, and stored in the back of the closet of our hearts. You see they are stored; not gone through, not done with. Soon that closet becomes full of boxes, all containing different thoughts and emotions, stored away to deal with at another time. At some point the closet becomes too full to be ignored. The sorting day has come.

You pull out each box one by one. Opening it with distain. It is taking up space and now it is taking your time. You need this space, for you have many more boxes waiting to be stored. “Hurry, empty the closet. We must make room for the new boxes,” we tell ourselves. But what began as distain, soon become moments of harsh reality. The bird that was moments ago soaring high, weightlessly free, suddenly is struck hard, and falls to the ground with a resounding, and unanticipated, thud. We realize it is time to deal and to feel; to hurt and maybe cry. It is time to sort through those boxes we didn’t have time for before.

We open each box remembering why we put it in the closet in the first place.

“I didn’t have time.”
“I had other things to worry about.”
“I didn’t want to face it.”
“I just wanted to be happy.”
“I didn’t want to believe it was true.”
“I wanted to get over it.”

The only problem is, the hurt is there. We didn’t get over it, we didn’t even get rid of it. It has been sitting there in the depths of our hearts all along, collecting dust, taking up space, and filling our hearts with unresolve.

We look in each box, perplexed by the contents.

“How did that get in there?”
“Why have I been hanging onto this?”
“I didn’t realize this box was so heavy.”

We are the injured bird lying on the ground, unsure of what knocked us out of the perfect blue sky, hoping to hop up and soar again. But at this moment, there is no hopping up. There is no hope of soaring right now. All there is… is hurt. How easy it would be to leave it all behind, rotting in the closet, but the closet is full and the door is not closing.

Then the tears come. Pain, heartbreak, insecurities, loneliness, worry, abandonment. It all comes flowing back, flooding our eyes, and streaming down our cheeks. Odd as it sounds, there is a relief that follows. Finally the heart is opening and we see what has been there all along. The fresh air is a healing agent as all of the hurt is exposed.

As we sit amongst the open boxes, tear stained cheeks, eyes red with emotion, there is a peace that breathes over us. There is a calm that settles. And we realize in our hurt we can feel the heart of God.

As Christ empathizes with our pain, we understand His hurt. We see the door that leads to the heart of God and realize it is open to us. We step in, but much to our surprise, we realize there are no boxes here. Surely He would have much hurt to store up in here. Perhaps disappointment would occupy one corner, heartbreak another, and betrayal would be spattered throughout. But no. Not one box. Here in the heart of God, there is nothing to hide, there is nothing that has been held back, just openness. It houses far too much love to store anything else.

I encourage you today to do some heart searching. Find the things that have been residing in your heart, unbothered and unsorted, and bring them out in the open. Yes, it may hurt. It may bring brokenness and remind you of painful things, but I promise as you bring them out, sort them, deal with them, you will find your Father is there sorting with you, dealing with them with you. And He will mend all of the broken places in your life. 

You can do it. 
Be brave.
And see the change that comes.

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