Can My Heart Break?

I’ve had so much on my mind lately. And it’s been hard to sort through the thoughts in my head. But one BIG theme is forming as I live life right now:

Do I have a heart that can break?

I’m not talking about a broken heart because of a heartache due to a failing relationship. No, what I’m talking here is about so much love, so much compassion for someone in need. And this love, this compassion moves me so much that it breaks my heart.

What got me to this topic? Well there are two main things happening right now:

  1.  I’m participating in the online Siesta Summer Bible Study with Beth Moore. And we’re doing the study on the book of Nehemiah. It’s written by Kelly Minter and it’s called “Nehemiah – A Heart That Can Break.” I’ve written about 8 posts on the book of Nehemiah. So I’m really getting to know this man in the Bible. He was so moved by the news that he heard about his fellow Jews in Jerusalem that he wept, mourned, fasted and prayed. Nehemiah WANTED to know how his people were doing in Jerusalem. “… with information often comes responsibility; if we know, we might be required to do something.”(a) Kelly continues “Many of us have hearts that can break for matters personally affecting us, but how many of our hearts break over the suffering of others?” (b) (emphasis mine)

That is a good questions, isn’t it?

 “…we can’t underestimate the power that pours forth from a broken heart. Think of what has been accomplished over the years by ordinary people simply because they were moved over the hurting, the poor, the outsider, the sick. Think of the world-impacting organizations that have been started by leaders with little education, mediocre communication skills, or zero dollars…” (c)

And that brings me to #2:
 I know a man who’s heart has been broken for the most vulnerable people on planet earth: THE CHILDREN. When I read this lesson in Kelly Minter’s book, only one man came to mind: Arvid Loewen. He is on his bike once again, riding across Canada to raise funds for the Mully Childrens Family in Kenya, Africa. He is a Grandpa that says, he can make a difference. You may want to check his progress and his story on www.grandpascan.com 

Arvid tells this story about a little girl that was rescued by Charles Mulli. One year Arvid carried her picture in his pocket through the whole ride across Canada. And then one day, while visiting in Kenya, he was able to put a face to this name. And what a difference it makes, when we have a name to put to a face, when we have a name to put to suffering, to sickness, to poverty. It totally changes our perspective.

The only question that remains is this: What do I do with this information? What do I do with the knowledge about suffering, about pain, about sickness, about poverty?

In week 3 of our Bible study Kelly Minter was asked whether she knew the name of a poor person. That question got me thinking, too. Yes, I do know the name of a poor person. But do I get personally involved in someone’s difficulties, or do I prefer to care from a distance?

“…because knowing their names meant I was getting to know their stories. And knowing their stories reminded me in deeply spiritual and emotional places that I, too, was once a foreigner outside of God’s kingdom, but because of Christ, I am now a daughter.” (d)

(a) Kelly Minter, “Nehemiah – A Heart That Can Break” p.13
(b, c) Kelly Minter, “Nehemiah – A Heart That Can Break” p.14
(d) Kelly Minter, “Nehemiah – A Heart That Can Break” p.64

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