Breakable (My Swiss Cheese Heart)

Have you ever thought about what protects our hearts?
Just a cage of rib bones and other various parts.
So it’s fairly simple to cut right through the mess,
And to stop the muscle that makes us confess.
And we are so fragile,
And our cracking bones make noise,
And we are just,
Breakable, breakable, breakable girls and boys. Ingrid Michaelson – Breakable

Losing a child. Unbearable. Unspeakable grief.   Out of order. Loss that leaves us with no words.

The question we hit the wall, pound our fists, shed our tears, bob up and down in the waves of grief just trying to stay afloat, and dare God to please answer….why?

And then like a child, we simply must accept.   God is sovereign.

Our human mind can’t wrap itself around it.   The heart struggles even more.   Love has to have somewhere to go. And so it bleeds out of us now.

We reach out to comfort and fall short. We want to say something, but there isn’t anything that takes this away.

It is both real and surreal.

It takes courage to endure. Yet no one consulted with you, are you strong enough to take this. You simply are.

Our hearts are fragile. As fragile as the time we think we still have plenty of. Sometimes it is not to be. We go about our day and order our lives as if we can actually stave off heartache and suffering if we’re:

  • Careful
  • Good enough
  • Kind to others
  • Work hard

But in the end, if we are wise enough, we learn to simply accept, that this life is not our will, but God’s.

Circumstance, timing, the gift of being successful or loved or healthy or name-your-desire actually doesn’t rest entirely in our will, but in God’s.

Trial comes to all of us sooner or later. And tragedy too. We forget that it will because life has so many beautiful moments too – full of wonder and majesty. And we most recall them when entrenched in pain and suffering and compare them to memory, or for the most courageous among us: a future hope.

Yes, our hearts are fragile indeed. Even if we build a fortress of protection around it (apathy, bitterness, cynicism), no wall is crumble-proof. We fool ourselves: our willful mind is not the protection it thinks it is for this soft muscle mass that quietly marches to the rhythm of our lives.

In the end, the walls fall. As do the tears. At least for the lucky ones. We breakable ones.

Because we love. Because we are loved. Oh how we love. Sometimes it isn’t even returned to us at all or in equal measure, or it leaves us suddenly without warning, yet still we love, bruising our hearts along the road of Great Expectations. Other times the depth of love is boundless, but our time is too brief. This too seems unfair.

Yes, we lucky breakable ones. We are the ones who get to the end of their journey with hearts that resemble Swiss cheese–firm and steadfast in some places, but with holes too—all because we loved.

Breakable. Our heart, this tiny tender organ the size of our fist, often containing holes so vast, that they threaten to unravel us completely unless filled by something bigger — something even the universe is too small to contain it all…simply the love of God.

We love because God first loved us. We can’t contain it or keep it for ourselves.   When we really truly grasp how much we are loved, our own breakability factor soars. Stone is exchanged for flesh. The heart that knows the value and brevity and depth and beauty of being loved, is assuredly humbled in brokenness and surrender, and quietly gives it all away. In this depth of brokenness, we pour out all of our love, leaving a space that only God can fill, and by some miracle — we begin to heal.