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This poem speaks of the difference between a strong heart and a hard one. The heart of stone may feel less pain, but thus be impervious to Christ, and to His suffering. The strong heart, though, is not like a sponge: pain-saturated. It is able to release what it suffers to the Lord. Only through His grace can I bear being wounded, and rise to keep being vulnerable. It is a risk-taking to love, and to hope. Hopeless grief, though, is powerless to comfort or to raise those who suffer. Scripture even speaks of grief, dejection, or sorrow as destructive to the bones.
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)
The via media, the spacious plain “where tears and joy in freedom meet,” is a heart that, in freedom, agrees to be touched, even painfully. Through the heart of flesh, joy or suffering alike move me to the throne of Divine Mercy, and I become an invitation to heaven.
Give Me Heart
Give me a heart that will not break,
but not a heart of stone,
for though rock does prevent the ache,
and sponge absorb, like marrow, to the bone,
both fail me in the spacious plain
that, suffering, but yesterday You trod.
Give me the heart to fall and rise –
a heart of flesh, my God!
For if my heart, once wounded, will not mend,
or, broken, has not courage to begin
again to love, to hope, to nurture seedling faith,
then victory is giv’n to stony death.
Lord, let my heart become a spacious place,
where tears and joy in freedom meet;
an invitation to Your own embrace,
suff’ring approach to heaven’s mercy seat.
All the poems are now in one volume, and I’d love for you to have a copy! Click on the cover to buy it, and click here for the recordings of all the poems.