When Your Heart Hurts on a Friday

Robynn continues on sabbatical this week – but if you want to read an amazing piece that she’s written in the past – perfect for yesterday’s events take a look here: On Common Prayer.

I’m sitting in my spot – my early morning spot that I’ve described before.

And though I want my heart to feel light, it feels heavy with the weight of tragedy. Israel mounted a ground offensive against Gaza yesterday and the pictures of children and moms cry out to me from their inanimate place on my computer screen. An airline was shot down by a surface to air missile and all people on board were killed. At least 295 – perhaps more. I read about an Australian woman whose heart is breaking – first she lost a brother in an airplane that went missing, yesterday she lost a step daughter.

And there are still those horrible tragedies that have gone on daily; those that I’ve pushed to a convenient spot in my mind, a spot that doesn’t continually surface and paralyze me for the sorrow of all of it.

My heart hurts for people I don’t know, those I have never met. And  my heart hurts for those I do know, those who are local and have problems and sadness that will never make a news story, but are so real and so paralyzing in intensity that their whole world is affected. The hurting marriage, the mom who just found out her son has been arrested, the pregnant teen, the old man who found out he has cancer, the young man fired and wondering how he will tell his wife — all the sorrows that overwhelm the individual yet are privately grieved. Our God is a Global God; our God is a local God. Just as concerned about the person in my neighborhood who is hurting as he is about the huge tragedy in the skies over the Ukraine. That’s what makes him God.

And I’m human so even as I hurt for those suffering, I feel enormous joy this week for a book that was released. It feels so big, it feels so small.

And because I don’t know how to pray, I don’t know how to properly care, I say the words that have reconciled man with God through the ages “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, Have Mercy.” 

I leave my spot on the couch. Paralysis helps no one. I go forward knowing there are still “10,000 reasons for my heart to sing ‘Bless the Lord’….” 

What do you do when it’s too much to bear? You put your head down and pray so deeply it hurts. And then you go to work doing what you know you’re called to do for the day, because you are not the Saviour, you are only the saved and that by grace alone.” from On Polio and when it’s all too much to bear.

6 thoughts on “When Your Heart Hurts on a Friday

  1. These days the news seem to be overwhelming. I am speechless and don’t really know what to say, what to pray. But I discovered that my heart begins to whisper “Lord, have mercy” in these moments. It’s not many words, but it says so much about God, who we turn to as our hope. The only hope in such times. We don’t know how it will look like, his “having mercy”, but it will surely come.


    1. I appreciate this comment so much – that has been the prayer on my lips — Lord Have Mercy – and when you think about it, our prayers don’t get much better. I love your heart Katha.


  2. What is going on in Israel and Palestine right now is on my mind a lot as well, as I was recently there. When I can’t take it any more, I usually turn to music too. Getting away from the world for a while – though it sounds selfish – can be very helpful. My go-to songs for these times are I Am Needing You by Vicky Beeching, Surely We Can Change by David Crowder, and Nothing Without You by Bebo Norman.


  3. Marilyn, thanks for this post. We are vacationing in CO and sitting on the porch looking at God’s creation, Matt’s song was perfect. Amidst sorrows we are reminded how GOOD OUR GOD IS. Many reasons to praise.


    1. I feel like being in nature is a perfect antidote to our overwhelming feelings of inadequacy when thinking about evil and the hard, broken world. Because all that is beautiful is God-made and all that is ugly is man made.


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