Sometimes the Best Valentines are Broken

It is disorienting – this amazing grace wrapped in love. This God who is love and sent His Son to die for those who are not love.

If my heart doesn’t want to burst happy and painful at this truth something must be wrong.

Have I grown complacent? Happy to sit and watch, judge and joke.

Or is my heart hard? Filled with bitterness of what should have been.

Am I ignorant? Unaware of what God wrapped in flesh accomplished in hours of torment on the cross that I – a wretched sinner – could live with Him forever.

Then I get a glimpse of Jesus, His sacrifice, His love. . . And my heart. . . It breaks wide open and shatters into a million pieces – broken.

The rotten I have skillfully hid spills out. The stench turns my stomach and my heart jerks. Who else knows I harbor this in my heart?

Another look at Jesus and thoughts of others flee. Fear winds its tentacles around my soul. Can Jesus smell this horrid death coming from my broken heart? What will He think?

I fall to my knees – fear paralyzes me, shame nearly swallows me whole. And He is there. Jesus  – the Word made flesh – doesn’t shudder at the smell of death. He comes closer.

Confused I sweep the fragments of my heart and the wretched stench around and around, but I can’t get rid of it. The stench, the brokenness I cannot hide. Tears stream down my cold pale cheeks.

I cry out to Him to stop. Don’t come any closer.

And still He comes, nail pierced hands out-stretched. I shudder. It is hopeless. The game is over and now He will condemn me. Hypocrite, judgmental, proud, harlot, the labels I deserve, the wages I earned.

But part of me hopes He comes.

Again I cry, tired of trying. Bleeding and broken. Rotten and dying. He must come. I need Him to come. I fear His coming.

Yet His touch is gentle. He takes the broom from my hand and He doesn’t even mention the stench. The perfect King of Glory stood there in the midst of the broken and rotten in my life. And He declares the verdict. Not Guilty.

The rotten death He wiped away. With the shattered pieces of my heart He created a beautiful mosaic. And He sent His Spirit to inhabit the broken, but beautiful new heart He gave me.

All because He loved me, He made me, He has plans for me. And this love for the broken it turns me inside-out and up-side down.

Sometimes the best Valentines are broken so He can fill them.