I John 3:18

All original content copyright Jessica Nicole Schafer, 2007-2016.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Bind the Brokenhearted.

Though any day of the year can hit me unexpectedly...the holidays and winter are always very long, and full of heavier grief.  She passed away right around Christmastime, and her birthday is at the beginning of February. So for me, there are more intense days between Thanksgiving and Valentine's Day, thick with the absence that my Momma left behind. Where I live, winter seems so long because the days are so very short.  And these short days make for very long nights....and many times, grief hangs around a little bit heavier during the night.
I've noticed my sensitivities are heightened around now.....and I've noticed the number of years that pass don't matter in the least.  What matters is I still mourn for my Momma.  Because she is still gone.

My Love read something today at Church, and it deeply moved me.  He talked about Jesus quoting those famous words from Isaiah.  I read that whole passage, and today it seemed like the following words jumped off of the pages into my heart, and it truly is something I needed to hear again.

"...He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted...
To comfort all who mourn..."
Isaiah 61, NASB

This text is familiar to so many of us.  But today I saw these words in a way I'd never seen before.  I have never been artistic, but watching our sweet son become more passionate about his artwork every year has changed the way I see things.  It's helped me be more visual.

When I read these words today, it immediately brought a picture to mind.  All I could see was someone leaning over and comforting another person who's heart was broken into pieces, someone literally binding them up, around and around, wrapping them in bandages...with the focus on their heavy, heavy heart...their heavy, heavy grief.
I'm no nurse, but I am a Momma. I know a few things about taking care of someone when they're hurting.  The part of them that needs the most attention, the part that needs the care, the binding, the love...is always going to be what is hurting, what is broken, what is lacking.  That's where the primary focus lies.

What a comforting thing to remember this morning.  Jesus didn't tell us to pray away our cares, to ignore the problems, to buck up, be positive, and all the other empty theologies we like to pass around to make ourselves feel better...to help us ignore the hurting we know exists all around
No, not at all.

The better thing, always always always, is to notice those around us who are hurting, use our hands and our hearts to comfort them...wrapping those heavy wounds...even when it's the kinds of wounds that can't be seen.  Like grief. 

And we cannot "comfort all who mourn" if we do not first acknowledge their mourning.

May we bind up each other's broken hearts, may we comfort those who mourn...whether they've been grieving for a day, or a decade.