I am discovering so many things about myself. The main topic has been my soul and the condition of my soul. I’ve known for some time that there is a problem. I mentioned in my former blog that at a point in my life I felt my soul tell me it was near death and it was sort of crying out to me to save it. I know that sounds really psycho, but I don’t know how to explain it except as I did in my former blog.
Brokenness, A Bruised Reed
God talks about brokenness in His Word, the Bible. In Isaiah 61:1 He talks about binding up the brokenhearted and Jesus quotes this verse as He proclaims His ministry to Israel in Luke 4. It is not a surprise to God that we will experience a broken heart in our lifetimes. It is a part of life. Many times, as is my case, the brokenness comes to us when we are children, and we don’t know what to do about it, and many times we don’t realize the effect something has on our soul or even that we have a soul. I think a lot of the problems in our country today is that too many kids were broken or received damage to their souls and didn’t know what to do about it. Abuse must surely do more to damage our souls than anything else especially when our souls are young and trusting. Betrayal of trust has deep and long-lasting adverse effects on our souls.
Isaiah 42:3 says about Jesus, “A bruised reed He will not break, and a smoldering wick He will not snuff out.” What does that mean and what does that have to do with any of us? Good question! We need to think about this.
Our souls get bruised many times by careless words to us, and we say them to ourselves. How many times have we said negative things to ourselves re-enforcing other negative words. Isaiah is saying that Jesus will never build upon the negative things that happen in our lives. He will never push our bruised buttons until we break. That is not who He is or why He desires to be in our life. He will never be the One who piles guilt and shame on our already burdened souls. He promises, and His promises are true because He is faithful. To someone who has been hurt (bruised), this could either sound too good to be true or not what you have learned in the past. Take it from someone who has made some huge mistakes, Jesus NEVER shames. He convicts, but gently. His intent is never to break our spirits or kill a part of our souls. A bruised heart he will never break. But if our heart is broken by events or people in our lives, He has promised to bind up our broken hearts so they can heal. Although my soul was like a smoldering wick, God did not put it out; He warned me my soul needed tending.
Becoming Aware of Brokenness
I have been through some events, and I’ve been married to some men who have bruised, and one even tried to break my spirit. Some events happened as a child. They were just a part of life and had nothing to do with abuse, but they broke my heart and bruised my soul none the less. After two bad marriages, one ending in divorce and the other after a few years of caregiving died, I was blessed to renew a friendship with an old friend of 40 years. I was a published writer, and some of my published writing were poems. I knew I didn’t have the depth of a true poet in my poems. I wanted the depth of Mary Oliver or Billy Collins. I wanted to be able to see things like authors, John Eldredge or Thomas Merton or Ken Gire. I tried, but I couldn’t. I tried to be contemplative and mindful. I don’t think any of the poets or authors have not had damage done to their souls. I think maybe at one time they had suffered a loss or betrayal or both. How did they get through it? Did they escape into nature? Or did they seek God? I can’t pretend to explain their journeys, but I know they see things differently than I do.
I think it is in becoming aware of our brokenness that we can see deeper into our souls if we allow ourselves to look. I have lived a life of avoidance. Living to avoid rather than understand my bruises. I never allowed myself to stay in a position of introspection. I tried to keep busy and cover my hurt with good works. I did always look to God for comfort, but I never allowed God to bind any of my wounds.
Open Heart Surgery
A neighbor friend had open heart surgery. We talked yesterday about the procedure and how they used a saw to cut his breastbone open and laid back not only the skin but also the whole chest cavity. Now that I am a fulltime writer I have more time for introspection and listening to God. He wants to bind up my broken heart that has healed wrong. I think He needs to reopen the wounds in His tenderness and bleed out the infection that has caused anger and a feeling of poor self-esteem.
Next weekend I am going to revisit the pain of my mother’s untimely death in a car accident with my nephew who longs to know about his real grandmother. I am replaying old memories in my mind that may give him a picture of what she was like. It’s good to know parts of our history.
I have time to allow God to help me revisit some of those old childhood memories and see them from an adult perspective. It feels like open heart surgery of the soul. I need to lay open my heart and soul to the Great Physician.