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Last year, before enduring the trials that began the most heartbreaking season of my life–losing Oliver–I bought a broken heart patch for my jacket (pictured above). It is cheaper & less permanent than a tattoo, though it plays a similar role for me. It is both an outward expression of my internal state & a spur to myself that regardless of this broken state of mine I won’t stop wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Within a week or two of wearing this patch, someone challenged me on the broken heart. Asking “why a broken heart? Shouldn’t it be whole? Haven’t you been made whole?” I was glad to see the patch had started conversation, as I not-so-secretly hoped it would. My response was good at the time, I felt, but I continued to wrestle with it for some time. Am I not whole? Why am I broken?

I knew the challenge from this person was coming from a place of hardness, yet I welcomed it. My heart has such a tendency to become a fortress, much like that of the person who was questioning me. My hope is that my own heart could lay its weapons down & be a place that hardened & broken hearts come to find rest.

Perhaps you disagree with me or have another perspective to share, but I have only seen two kinds of hearts: broken & hardened — or in other words, vulnerable & invulnerable. Life puts our hearts at a crossroads with every new day. We make the choice.

The most vulnerable & invulnerable hearts I’ve seen are also the ones who have endured the greatest pains & the greatest joys.

Tragedy – and all his friends – are no stranger to me. We are very well acquainted. Yet the same can be said for the joy that I’ve experienced.

Brokenness allows both pain & joy. Like a crack in a door lets in the dark & light, so a broken heart lets in pain & joy. On the other hand, a closed door–or hardened heart–lets in neither.

I am a broken record; I’ve said it before, but brokenness is not the enemy of being made whole. Brokenness is the means of being made whole.

While it would be so easy to drown myself in sorrows & harden myself, I run to pain. I honestly hate to think of songs that, in running from my pain, would never be written.

I pray for a broken heart because if I was to pray for joy, I would be sorely disappointed, knowing the form in which it arrives. I pray for a broken heart because I know what is coming with the morning…


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