I’m not one who rigorously keeps up with the news, but the bit I know of current events is enough for me to feel the terror of a world in freefall. Senseless killings, blatant racism, moral wreckage, religious arrogance–the destruction never ends.
As the creation crumbles into hopelessness; my own hopelessness wells from within. How can my flimsy sword pierce such suffocating darkness?
I found the answer today as I unpacked books to fill the empty bookcases in our living room. Each book I handled with care, deciding which (few) to cull out, grouping books loosely by theme and author, and sliding them onto the shelves.
A book fell open in my hand. I glanced down at the page, and my breath caught in my throat. It was a poem by Emily Dickinson.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
Could it be that my shoulders were never meant for the burden of the whole world’s sorrows? And that only Jesus is big enough? With His presence inside of me, I can bear my tiny part. I can bring kindness to humans within my sphere.
I’d like to think that I am not capable of breaking hearts, but I know that isn’t true. The fragility of my own soul reminds me daily.
I see the world shattering, but sometimes fail to see the significance of my place within it. Hurting people are everywhere, and I must care for them with the grace of Jesus. I must care for the hearts of my husband and children. I must hold the hands of my little ones and teach them to show care to the broken people around them. Jesus is always, always with us, and His light is true and strong.
If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain.