“The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart.”—Psa_34:18.
“He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.”—Psa_147:3.
. . . My heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”—Psa_61:2.
“Calm me, my God, and keep me calm;
Let Thine outstretched wing
Be like the shade of Elim's palm,
Beside her desert spring.”
It is always raining somewhere. Tears are ever falling. Always some heart is breaking. And the rain beclouds other skies. And the tears wet other eyes. And the breaking hearts make other hearts bleed.
Yet there would be no rare beauty at rising and setting of sun, holding our eyes in grateful praise, were there no clouds. And there is no rainbow in the skies that can compare with the one made when the dew-drops of the heart reflect the rich colours in the light that shines out of the eyes.
And the hearts that break are, in their very breaking, coming into the most real touch with the heart of all the race, and with the heart of Him Who died of a broken heart. The only healing salve for hearts that are breaking comes out of hearts that have broken.
The pressure on the clouds becomes greater than they can bear. So the rain comes. And the pressure is relieved. And the earth is refreshed. It gives grateful thanks in greener grass and browner soil and more beauteous colouring of flowers, while all the air is fragrant with a new delicious freshness.
The pressure of the heart on the eyes becomes more than they can stand. So the tears come, pressed out by heart action. And the pressure on the heart is relieved. And the eyes are bathed. They’re cleaner now and cooler and clearer. There is truer, stronger sight.
The pressure of life’s ills upon the heart is oft times more than its sensitive walls can withstand. They quiver and tremble, and give way, or seem to, or feel to; even while the outer surface may be fairly well under a proper control. But under all is a broken or breaking heart.
Yet no heart was ever broken past repair. Though repairing seems quite utterly impossible while the breaking bewilderment is crushing you. For the pressure is relieved in the very breaking, and need never never regain its breaking strength.
And the warm heart-juices loosened out under the terrible pressure have a softening influence. They mellow and ripen and grow into richer fineness all the heart qualities of the character.
They have healing virtue. They cure the unconscious hurt of hardening made by life’s easy unconsciously-selfish flow. They heal the heart whose breaking presses them out. It becomes a better heart because of the healing touch of its own breaking juices.
And blessed influences go out, as mellowing, soothing, healing, fragrant balm, to the countless other broken, breaking hearts, waiting wearily on the crowded street for help.
No heart ever broke past mending. It may not be mended. But it can be, even though you feel it can’t while the breaking’s going on. The worst broken heart was the one that broke on Calvary. The tremendous strain and stress on that great heart was too much for even uncommon human restraint. That heart broke. No heart ever broke so, so utterly, so overwhelmingly, as that.
And so no heart need ever break so. For that heart, the heart of hearts; and that break, the break of breaks, gave out under pressure the wondrous salve that can mend up every other broken heart, and knit together the edges of every other break.
Since the heart of our Lord Jesus broke, our breaking hearts can be repaired.
The weather has been very stormy of late, the clouds the heaviest and blackest, and the downpour the greatest. It is not too much to say, very thoughtfully, that we’ve been going through the worst storms this old earth of ours has ever known.
The massing of black clouds, the horrible growling of the thunder so near, the terrific driving of the winds, the furious lashing of the waves, the drenching of the rain, have broken all records.
Tempest and hurricane, typhoon and simoon and cyclone, seem all rolled into one, and to have got a momentum terrific beyond words or imagination or experience.
And the wreckage is everywhere. Broken homes, broken families, broken hearts, broken plans, broken laws, broken traditions, broken honour, — was there ever such breakage! No; sober second thought looks and thinks back and solemnly says, “Never such breakage and wreckage.”
And tears have come in floods till the tear-ducts seem to have run their waters clear out, and only dry eyes stare blankly, hopelessly out over the distracting beach of life.
Will the sun ever shine again? Will the clouds ever break? Will the storm ever spend itself, and calm come again? And the questions themselves seem but an intenser way of underscoring a negative, and crying out despairingly, “Never.”
Yet this is not the full answer, nor the right answer. The feelings may not be allowed to override the judgment. The tears must not blind the eyes to what is there to be seen. The storm is not all there is to be seen, though its horrible growling thunder is so deafening and so close.