“Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one… Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket—safe, dark, motionless, airless—it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable…” CS Lewis, The Four Loves
Today we are going to visit a crime scene. At that crime scene we will find a victim. Someone who has been robbed, beaten, lied about or abused. Someone whose innocence was taken, whose future was changed in a heartbeat, whose life was left in pieces. Someone who trusted and whose trust was violated. Someone who has lived in the shadow of that crime to this day. That someone may be you. That someone is also me.
At the crime scene we will find violence, hatred, bitterness, anger and despair. The colours will be black and red and grey. There will be mourning and heartbreak. There will be a policeman who looks the other way, a judge who does nothing, there will be prison bars and a death sentence. No life, no hope, no future.
Lost innocence leads to cynicism and despair, injustice leads to anger and hatred. Broken trust leads to bitterness and a resolution that grows ever stronger to never allow anyone close again. A prison cell. A castle without doors. A maze with no centre. A house in ruins.
How do we learn to love again? How can we help the broken hearted when we are left to pick up the pieces of our own broken hearts? How do we escape the scene of our crime; a crime that has condemned us rather than the guilty person to a life behind bars?
May I pause here and take you to another crime scene? Here an innocent man is being whipped and cursed. He is accused yet He says nothing. He is alone yet His friends stand and watch. He is made to carry a heavy wooden cross on His back, a back that carried children, now ripped to shreds. He is made to walk through crowds of people that claimed to love Him but now call for His blood.
His blood falls along the path that He walks to his death. He is nailed to a cross as people jeer at Him and spit His name out of their mouths like bullets. A criminal’s punishment for the One who has never committed a crime. As He struggles for breath and with eyes almost swollen shut with pain and blood, He looks at the crowd and says -
“Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” Luke 23:34, NIV
Jesus knows what it’s like to be robbed, beaten, lied about and abused. And yet at the scene of this crime, He poured out His love without promise of return and showed us the only way to find life beyond the grave.
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." John 13:34, NIV
How do we learn to love again? How can we help the broken hearted when we are left to pick up the pieces of our own broken hearts?
Why not take your broken pieces to Jesus - your sorrow, your anger and your shame? He died at the scene of your crime and mine. He was robbed so that we could be restored, He was beaten so that we could be healed. He was lied about so that we could know the truth, He was abused so that we could be set free. We have been broken yet He can make something beautiful from our pieces.
“Blessed are those whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord their God. He is the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them— he remains faithful forever. He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.The Lord sets prisoners free,” Psalm 146:5-7, NIV
He believes in you.