Nine months ago we moved to Lafayette, California, a place where we often forget to lock our doors and leave things laying out simply because of the strong reputation of safety in this community. We take walks in the evening and are startled to hear the sounds of sirens. That is of course until my wife came back from her walk this past week to find that her passenger window had been smashed in and our diaper bag had been stolen.
As I’ve been processing my frustration, annoyance, and uncomfortable realizations of vulnerability, I’ve thought that we often experience this type of break in with our relationships. Similar to cars in a parking lot, we meet many of our friends through regularly parking ourselves near others in places that we both enjoy being. Those who “park” near us get to see into our lives as though looking in from behind a piece of glass. A few things are laying out but most often we hide our valuables in inconspicuous places.
Yet we all want to be known by that which is truly valuable in our lives and desire to have the freedom to leave them out on the front seat. What a gift it is to be truly known by someone. I’ve had these relationships before. Relationships where it has been safety to leave the valuable parts of my life out for people to see. In these times there’s safety, freedom, and an inclusion that is purely life-giving. Then all of a sudden, there was a moment when by surprise someone smashed the window of my heart, helped themselves to what I felt was safely in my own possession, and all I was left with was a whole lot of broken glass.
Have you ever been there? Missing a piece of your heart with the pieces of a broken life strewn about the ground? Yeah, me too.
When my wife drove our car back home we could have easily decided never go back to the beautiful reservoir where the break-in happened. How could we ever feel safe there? If we chose not to return however, we’d miss out on the sunsets that mirror off the lake, the joy of barbecues with friends on warm days, and the intimacy of our family walks around the trails. This would be a much higher cost than the price of replacing a window.
Over this past year Christ has filled the broken places in my heart to the point where my heart has such greater capacity for love than before it was broken. The bible does not mix words about the fact that we are in for a whole lot of brokenness over the course of life. Yet healing and reconciliation is here for everyone through the death and resurrection of Christ. Christ is about the business of healing by reconciling us to himself and us with each other.
To all who are carrying broken hearts and who have felt that pieces of your life have been stolen; Christ can and will fill the broken places in your heart if you allow him. I pray too that this story of my own pain and healing is a reminder that keeping ourselves from being trusting and vulnerable with other people in the long run, is a much higher cost than the price of replacing a window.