Rend your heart
and not your garments.
Return to the Lord your God,
for he is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and abounding in love,
and he relents from sending calamity. (Joel 1-2)
When Jesus died, the Father rent his heart. From top to bottom, the veil that separated Him from us was torn in two. A free backstage pass to sit on God’s knee, face to face, the Holiest of Holy places – once for all.
…In the death of His son, everything was given, there was no more to give, his heart was opened, bleeding, poured out …
It is finished. Done.
Man and God reunited in the tearing open of his heart.
Reunited when we choose to turn back toward him.
In Jewish tradition, garments were torn when there was death, a calamity or an affront to God so grievous that it may have well been death. Garments were rent as an outward sign that inside, the heart was breaking…
In my life,
My heart broke when I gave my son up for adoption.
My heart ripped when my brother faced death.
My heart tore in two when my mom died.
But in all these ways, my heart was torn from circumstances of which I had no control, so I have to wonder:
Is it even possible to rend my own heart?
… But then I remember when I first returned to Him, when first I was brought to the place of choice:
Face the Truth-filled ugliness and the dark aloneness of my sin
Choose the Truth of Him
and let myself die.
I remember in that moment crying out, reaching for, hoping in His touch of Love
I remember rending my heart
… opening it to the only One I had become sure could – and would- heal it.
The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Ps 34:18)
For You do not delight in sacrifice, otherwise I would give it; You are not pleased with burnt offering.The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; A broken and a contrite heart, O God, You will not despise. (Ps 51: 116-17)
So, now, how do I rend my heart again except to put my everything on the altar as an offering back to him.
To hold nothing back…all my fears, doubts, failings, hopes, dreams, longings
To trust that the Lord is gracious and compassionate
To trust that He is who he says he is,
To trust that He. Who. Did. Not. Withhold. His. Only. Son. is able to raise back to life whatever – whatever – I put on the altar…
It is He – and Him alone –
who is worthy of the breaking of this small heart of mine.
Father, break my heart for what breaks yours.
Watering today: Prov 17; Ps 17, 117; Joel 1-2; Isaiah 29-31; James 1