I have always loved the verse in Psalm that says, “He heals the broken in heart, and binds up their wounds.” When I read it or think about it, it gives me such relief to know we have a God who heals the broken in heart. There are times when I felt my heart was broken and in multiple situations I was sure that I would not recover. But I did… and I am stronger because of it. But when I look back, I don’t believe my heart was actually broken. It wasn’t truly shattered. It was more like it was bruised or banged up a bit. Definitely not broken.
There are broken hearts though. Right now there are two mamas in this country who are hugging empty pillows at bedtime because they lost their babies. The first lost her three children to a drunk driver. Senseless. Ripped apart in a moment of complete ignorance. She also lost her father in that accident. A joyful day turned into countless tears. Her heart is broken… truly broken. The second is a farming family in Alberta who just lost their three daughters to a farming accident. Nobody is to blame for this …. this is an accident.
I don’t think it matters though, does it? Whether it was an accident or whether it was due to the senseless act of another human being. When the first accident occurred I bet that the other mother hugged her babies closer. She probably gave them each an extra kiss and took a moment to be thankful for her blessings. She had no idea that in a few short weeks, she would be walking those same shoes. Those six sweet children aren’t here any more and each night in these homes there are 3 empty beds. That is heartbreaking. Shattered. Broken.
Yesterday, we had our first snowfall. I am pretty sure it came due to the prayers of my two youngest boys because they have been asking Jesus for weeks to let it snow. I bundled them all up and sent them out into the yard to play. In the time it took me to make a pot of tea and get my daughter her breakfast was all the time it took for two of my children to disappear.
I looked outside and I only saw my oldest playing in the snow. When I asked him where his brothers were he replied that he didn’t know. For what felt like forever but was probably only ten minutes, I yelled for them as I ran around my yard and my neighbours. When I realized that I might not be able to find them alone, my stomach dropped. What do I do? Who do I call? What do I tell them? Where are my boys? It was there that I realized once again, how many dangers there are lurking around me and no matter how I try, I will never be able to protect them from all of it. It was a minute into my panicked phone conversation with my sister in law that I saw a flash of orange. Oliver. In the field. After a moment of scanning I was able to find Zachary. They were watching the cows. The snow had pushed the grass down and the usually obvious boundary of long grass was not there. The cows were too much of a temptation to resist.
It happens in an instant. A good day turns bad. A heart filled with joy and blessing, broken.
Do you know what I believe though? I believe that Jesus can heal this. I believe that he can take every single one of those broken pieces and mend them back together. It won’t be the same. It can never be the same but there will come a day when smiling isn’t so hard. When a new memory works its way into their hearts… a happy one. I don’t know when, grief runs its own course, but I pray that some day they will stand strong united with their husbands and the heartache won’t run so close to the surface. I also pray that they find their strength in Christ because in Christ alone, our hope is found.