Has not the Architect, Love, built your heart
in a glorious manner,
with so much care that it is meant to break
if love ever ceases to know all that happens
And where does anything love has ever known
go, when your eye and hand can no longer
be warmed by its body?
So vast a room your soul, every universe can
fit into it.
Anything you once called beautiful, anything
gave you comfort waits to unite with your
arms again. I promise.
A dear friend of mine included this poem in the weekly inspiration e-mail she sent out this morning, and thinking on it has gobbled up my morning.
It speaks of the very things I fiercely believe:
- that our hearts are, indeed, built in a glorious manner
- that they break when we cease to know the perfection of love
- that the shattered pieces of the love we once knew inhabit whole universes of secret rooms inside of us
- that the heart waits, even yearns, to be rediscovered and to heal and to be made whole and connected with our full selves once again
There is a bit of a sticking point in this poem, though. It says that the heart, in the way it was made, “is meant to break if love ever ceases to know all that happens is perfect.”
This implies that everything that happens is, indeed, perfect … even if it doesn’t feel that way.
I’ve wrestled at various times, for various reasons, with this idea that everything that happens is perfect. I know wounding. I know pain. I know the imperfection of love, for sure. I know this world is pretty fantastically, grievously broken.
So, how can all that happens be, somehow, perfect? Is this poet speaking true?
I think this has to do with believing — trusting — that something greater than the pain is present even in the midst of our being grazed by it. It’s the idea that something holds all things together and has a greater, grander scope than we can see in the midst of our wounded, pain-filled realities.
This is a hard idea. I know.
And when we are in the midst of pain, this idea is the last thing we want to hear.
But here is something true.
I have come out on the other side of hell — several times, actually — and have discovered, on the other side of it, a perfect love that casts out the fear that doubt implanted. I have discovered a more perfect love that encompasses and heals those painful, disturbing wounds. I have discovered Someone faithful and capable to hold all things, even the most painful realities I have known, in his hands.
And incredible as it may sound, I have become thankful for the pain.
It is only because of encounter with the perfect and intimate love of Jesus that I can say today that I am thankful for it. The perfect love of Jesus makes everything — even seeming darkness — beautiful in its time.
But I won’t pretend. This is a really hard idea to hold. It’s one I still wrestle with, in various forms, today.
Here’s a possibility, though, in the midst of the struggle. Perhaps the more we feel the pain and grope in seeming darkness toward the light of love, the more overwhelming and sweet that light will be once we find ourselves inside of it.
I know, for myself, that the measure of my love for Jesus is inextricably tied to the very personal ways in which he has met me in my distresses.
What is your response right now to this idea that everything — perhaps all things — are just as they’re meant to be?