What Makes Mending of a Broken Heart Different

Mending of a Broken Heart is not simply another book about how hardship makes life “meaningful” by making one more appreciative for what one already has—meaning is not the same thing as not taking blessings for granted. Nor is it simply one of those self-help books that tells one “how” to find purpose, meaning, hope or happiness by cataloguing a laundry list of “do’s” and “don’ts” to experience each. Such approaches give directions without providing any clear sense of the destination. Nor does Mending begin by assuming the very thing in question as when overtly religious books point to God as the source of meaning without explaining what they are talking about.

Beside every aspiring man
There is often an inspirational woman,

For as he leads, she counsels;
As he sacrifices, she restores.

In the safety of his love,
Her trust becomes the one place

He may rest secure until that day
He rests securely in the bosom of our Father.

What prompts the selfish man to change?

For some, it may be when, after committing an accidental act of selflessness, they feel their hearts strangely warmed. For the first time, they may look over, rather than through, the bars that guard their heart to the beauty of a new life that beckons. In that moment, they may realize that the edifice they have constructed out of fear, which they believe protects and secures their blessing, has been nothing more than a prison of their own creation.

For myself, it was when, in a silent moment of shameful self-realization, I recognized that meaning was absent from my life—not so much because of what I lacked, but because of who I was ...

Before I could appreciate the meaningful life God offered, I had to understand myself for who I was. I couldn’t comprehend His character and purpose without first comprehending my own.

So, in order to understand God’s heart, He had to break mine. Yet, what God intended to do wasn’t merely to “teach me a lesson” but to teach me a spiritual truth that would mend my heart and, in making it whole, make it available to Him. God healed my heart by humbling it, and I came to understand that only the broken and contrite heart may be reconciled to God.

The refiner's fire

We initially approach God on our terms, seeking something from Him, only to recognize later that God has His own terms for a relationship.

God’s love is both severe and majestic. It is God’s justice that burnishes His love and it was His personal self-sacrifice that makes radiant His mercy. God does not overlook sin, but He does forgive it. He can forgive it because it was punished at the cross.

Very early on in my faith ... my beloved H faced a possible diagnosis of breast cancer. This brought me face-to-face with my own “problem of pain” and and forced me to come to terms with the role that suffering plays in spiritual life and even health.

We cannot escape trials. Trials impose themselves on us; we cannot choose to deny or avoid them. The only choice we have is how, and according to what principles, we will conduct ourselves as we endure them. A strong knowledge of God will yield feelings of confidence in Him. Faith had given me new knowledge and new values, and it was this transformation of my mind, that transformed my experience of this trial and brought blessing our of pain ...

God is faithful to us in that He will show us the path through trying circumstances, but as I discovered, only the next step, not His view, which is the view we desire.

Our faithfulness to God, in turn, consists of trusting Him to show us the path yet in being content with only such light as is necessary to take that next step.

It is a poignant fact that God’s good may mean experiencing heartache and loss––that there is good beyond happiness that entails pain and suffering.

God’s conception of what it means to love us may be different from our preconception of what it means to be loved. It may be that God wants us to have more than what we think we desire and that we will need to experience more than happiness to receive it. We may not have the imagination sufficient to understand the experience God wants us to have of Himself, of ourselves, and of our relations to one another. Perhaps the only means to such understanding is through the paradox of challenge and heartache ...

If life is a veil of tears, then God is the perfect hope behind that veil—the One by whom we were made, for whom we were meant, from whom we are separated, and to whom we cry.

We love God not because He promises the absence of trials. We love Him, in part, because we know that when we encounter a trial He will bring blessing out of it and will never abandon us in our sorrow.

Suffering is the grist by which the mill of faith yields up the raw material of new character, greater insight, and deeper relationship with God and with others.

I don’t enjoy suffering, but I would willingly endure any if it would help H. Behind the greatest moments in my life has been the heart of this woman and behind hers, the heart of God. I don’t know how many more such moments we will be granted together, but I shall make a lifetime out of each.

I pray for insight where the path is veiled, fortitude where the obstacles appear insurmountable, endurance where the destination seems unattainable, and equanimity when all that remains is to accept the journey ...


The Nature of Meaning and the Purpose the Gives Life Hope

“His insight ... rings humbly and true ... Rich in metaphor, Mending of a Broken Heart is heartfelt, poetic, and beautifully written, offering wise reflections on the nature of life, death, suffering, and trying to find our way through an often-challenging world. Readers of Robert Wicks, C.S. Lewis, and Henri Nouwen, will find much to appreciate here.” ~BlueInk

“graceful” ... “an elegant and weighty theological memoire”.

“A search for answers to timeless questions leads to enlivening theology from a lay perspective ... Familiar concepts are eloquently drawn to show the need for God ... Nearly aphoristic gems reveal a talent for distilling complexity. The theme of agape ... build[s] a case for seeing others from a radical perspective ... God is portrayed in the multifaceted and challenging way that the topic deserves.”
~ForeWord Clarion



Overcoming Temptation — Lessons from Gesthemane, Part 3
The Disciples’ Failure and a Prescription for Success

This series is for anyone who has ever struggled with temptation and would like to find a better way. 

In Part 1, we learned that Jesus’ suffered in the garden of Gesthemane, not as God, but as a man, and revealed just how severe His was. In Part 2, we discovered the resources Jesus brought to bear to triumph over temptation. In this Part, we’ll look at why the disciples failed in their own Garden temptation for insights into why we so often fail in ours, and then close with some thoughts about what we can do to better cope with trial.

5 minute read.

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