I carried about my pierced and bloodied soul, rebellious at being carried by me, but I could find no place where I might put it down.
What do hearts sound like when they break?
Maybe like a glass vase falling out of a window in a moment of sanity, shattering on hardwood floor, making a sound so terrifying and dangerous that it’s beautiful. Or maybe it sounds like paper being ripped, the angry shred of desperately tearing apart a memory that you need to destroy before it destroys you. Or maybe it sounds like a click, a tiny tap of a finger nail against the wooden frame of your bed, because you’re trying so hard to pray but your knees are getting bruised and achey and the words refuse to come.
The past couple of weeks have been full of questions. I try really hard to keep myself together, but I’m realizing that sometimes it’s too much to keep lugging around my heavy soul. My heart is too passionate, too restless, and too ambitious for me to carry all by myself. And as I break down and open up to people, I’m finding that they’re just as tired as me. My friends are beautiful, but we are all so broken. If you put us together and held us up to the sun, our broken pieces would coalesce into a dawn-kaleidoscopic brilliance. Maybe our hearts prefer to be broken, so there can be cracks to blaze forth a rainbow within us.
I want answers Jesus. I’m waiting. I hate carrying around this soul sometimes. If the Holy Spirit is really inside of me, can’t he mold my bloody heart back together? I want to find a place where I can put down my bloodied soul without fear of slipping on it. I want to burn to life, but I’m all wet with tears.
But maybe that’s when we become even more breathtaking. In our bloody shreds we become the most astounding things, even though we don’t feel like it at all. We feel beat up from trying too hard like the lightning, but it’s a thrilling beauty that can’t be found in any other emotion or state of being. I know you’re broken. So am I, and everyone around you. We all carry around a pierced and bloodied soul, straining our eyes for a place where we can put it down and rest. Even though you feel like your heart is a gloppy, bleeding mess that no one wants, there is someone who would die to have it. He’s used to slimy, wounded hearts. He was a bleeding mess himself, and he knows what it’s like. And guess what. He loves you. He burns for you and your raw heart.
I’m learning to let Jesus deal with me. I found I can’t escape from who I am or escape my restlessness no matter how hard I try. But when I feel the pain vibrating inside of me it helps me remember that I’m definitely alive and have much to live for. The most beautiful and sturdy flowers bloom in the desert, and they are watered with rare and chilling tears.
I’m finding myself caught up in the ecstatic, wild spirit of June; the fresh, crispy new feeling of summer, before it gets all hot and lonely and sticky. There’s a painting in the art museum that I love. I think I was 12 when I first saw it, and I was so excited about the name I wrote in on me and walked around in January with it tattooed on the back of my hand. The painting itself is awesome (and it’s Nebraska sky, so even better!), but the name of the painting is just as rich and creamy.
When I say abundant life though, I don’t mean going on crazy adventures every day and driving really fast with your friends or breaking all the rules to feel the adrenaline. That’s what the world thinks abundant life is, but it’s so much more. You can do all those things and never live an abundant life. An abundant life is feeling your heartbeat and appreciating, fully appreciating, the fact that it’s beating. An abundant life is loving people deeply and taking time to breathe and chill with Jesus. An abundant life is running as fast as you can and dancing freely without the chains of society enslaving you. It’s discovering the hidden magic that life has, when you do what you love and are completely okay with it.
An abundant life consists of loving the little things that melt together into a chaotic, beautiful mess. Like playing one last song in the middle of the night and seeing the your shadow dance with you across your room. It’s the smell of campfires and watching the little embers crackle into the night sky, giving it freckles of fire and smells of earth and blankets and hugs. It’s a leftover ink stain from a night full of words. It’s reading a life-changing quote. It’s waking up in the morning to a day full of opportunities to listen and read and talk and smile and breathe.
It’s recognizing your brokenness, bottling up your pain, then hurling the bottle at the sky and watching it shatter into a thousand glassy stars.
Tolkien says that “Elvish singing is not a thing to miss, in June under the stars, not if you care for such things,” (The Hobbit). The light is breathing. Even though goblins pull us into dark caves sometimes, we will always crawl out again into the light and begin to breathe. This is abundant life. Acknowledging our starry constellations of pain but continuing to sing with the elves in our hearts. The thorns will continue to pierce our bloody souls. We might not hear the singing some nights, but if we care enough, the Holy Spirit will never ever stop. I know I need to take my own advice with this, but I promise I will try to listen to the singing. I’m ready to breathe. I’m ready for my gloppy heart to start drumming in my chest. No bloody broken heart can scare away the joyful, magical elves from singing to you. Listen to them this summer, and don’t obsess over living a worthwhile life, because you are living one. And let Jesus hold your torn-up soul, because he’s the only one in whom you can really trust to lay it down. The elves can’t get enough of you, and neither can Jesus. Do you care for such things? Let your light breathe, and drown in the melody.
Take a lover who looks at you like maybe you are magic.