…And thus we rust Life’s iron chain
Degraded and alone:
And some men curse, and some men weep,
And some men make no moan:
But God’s eternal Laws are kind
And break the heart of stone.
And every human heart that breaks,
In prison-cell or yard,
Is as that broken box that gave
Its treasure to the Lord,
And filled the unclean leper’s house
With the scent of costliest nard.
Ah! Happy those whose hearts can break
And peace of pardon win!
How else may man make straight his plan
And cleanse hi soul from Sin?
How else but through a broken heart
May Lord Christ enter in?
– Oscar Wilde, selection from The Ballad of Reading Gaol
I feel this in my bones – I feel that the times my heart is moved to love God the most, it is when my heart breaks for the beauty of the Lord, for the sorrow at the depth of his love, and for the richness of his patience; his eternal kindness and long suffering. I don’t know why I experience this reaction as sorrow or sadness, but that is almost exactly how I feel; I love him most when he breaks my heart. So perhaps there is a truth here; how else may the Lord enter in, unless our hearts break? Perhaps sorrow is our dearest friend, for it opens up our hearts and makes a place to receive his Goodness, his Truth, and his Love.