Saturday, May 25, 2013

Rend Your Heart


Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.  Matthew 5:4
On the surface, this might seem to be a paradox….it’s a blessing to mourn??  St. Augustine initially refused to mourn the death of his mother Monica.  He thought it was inconsistent with the resurrection of Christ.  Eventually, though, he did grieve and states that “my tears became like a pillow for my soul.”

There are two types of mourning being referred to in this verse.  There is the mourning we experience over our lifetimes of deep pain, grief, sadness for perhaps a death or event.  As we work through our grief, we often find that we are not alone.  It is then that we receive the blessings of God and experience His presence in our life, right beside us.  It can even be a catalyst to conversion.  We experience God’s mercy, and can trust and hope in Him! When I have walked through periods of grief, I find that the lessons I learned, the comfort that I received, enables me to console others with God’s mercy in similar situations
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The second type of mourning we need to consider is spiritual mourning.  Do we mourn not only our sins but also the sins of the world - abortion, genocide, terrorism, the abandonment of the poor?  As we weep over our sins, we are led to repentance.   This is spoken of in Joel 2:13:  Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. 
I looked up the definition of rend (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/rend):
 1. To tear or split apart or into pieces violently. See Synonyms at tear1.
2. To tear (one's garments or hair) in anguish or rage.
3. To tear away forcibly; wrest.
4. To pull, split, or divide as if by tearing: "Chip was rent between the impulse to laugh wildly and a bitterness that threatened hot tears" (Louis Auchincloss).
5. To pierce or disturb with sound: a scream rent the silence.
6. To cause pain or distress to: tales that rend the heart.
v.intr.
To become torn or split; come apart.

Rending my heart is not an easy thing!  It will be painful, it will be changed.  It will OPEN.  It will be open for me to peer in and see my true self and it will be open so that it can be filled with the merciful love of God.  It is spiritual broken-heartedness.   This video from Come Wind, a band from the Canton, Ohio area, called “Rend Your Heart” puts these thoughts to music.