Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Repair or Replace?

What I'm listening to: Fleming and John's Delusions of Grandeur

I'm running errands over my lunch break today and I've got the radio tuned to New Life Live by default - I'm usually listening to The Bridge, a local christian radio station, when I'm driving. Anyway, there was a caller asking about her marriage. Her husband had cheated on her, moved away and wanted nothing more to do with her and her question to them was "When do I give up on this marriage?" At one point, Steven Arterburn said "There comes a time when our hearts must be either repaired or replaced." So, my mind went back to the theme of restortation I've been exploring the last month. And I found this question very profound. Repair or replace?

It's certainly not my place to answer this question. God knows and understands the depth my hurt, and thus can best decide what I need: A new heart or one that's patched up. I recall a moment back during my days of insomnia and my "jr. year slump" that I asked God to take my heart because I didn't want it anymore. It was too battered and broken from the misuse of others.

John Donne wrote a great piece entitled Batter My Heart

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you
As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;
That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to'another due,
Labor to'admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue.
Yet dearly'I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me,'untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you'enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.


So I asked myself if I could choose, would I want a new heart or one that's patched up? Mended or made over? Ravished or repaired?

To have a new heart sounds like it would be easier. None of the old hurts and heartaches would linger. A fresh start - no longer damaged, but whole again. Sometimes I think I might give anything to not have the hurt I've experienced remain with me.

But a mended heart? This is a more intriguing idea. Just as a broken limb might heal, it won't be as strong, but you'd know better for the next time. You know where your weakness lies, so you can avoid another injury. Wisdom comes with a mended heart. But so does the pain.

So what would I rather have? A replaced or a repaired heart?

For some reason I am remembering my days of 4-H when I spent my summers outside, taking old varnish and stain off the latest antique my father found. I would scrape and scrape down to the bare wood, sand it smooth and start from scratch. But I remember wanting to keep some of the scuffs. They gave the piece personality. The scuffs are what made it unique.

Great, now I'm starting to sound like an after school special.

O'erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new

We all come with our own set of emotional baggage. That doesn't mean I have to like it. So repair or replace my heart, O God. To whatever you see fit.

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