On Broken Hearts

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he saves those whose spirits are crushed” Psalm 34:18

“God heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.” Psalm 147: 3

I have found walking through open heart surgery with my husband many things. It has been stressful. It has been overwhelming. It has been mind-numbing. It has also been wonderful. Part of the reason it has been wonderful is I have seen firsthand the mighty hand of God at work in both our lives providing exactly what we needed even before we knew we needed it. In addition, everyone involved with my husband and his surgery have been incredibly kind and compassionate. So now we are exactly one week post-surgery and he is doing very well.  A huge thank you to everyone who has been praying for us both as we walked this difficult road. It has meant a great deal to us.

As we were in the midst of all the activities and emotional trauma of pre-heart surgery, heart surgery, and now post heart surgery, our nation has been undergoing its own trauma. It seems we have a collective “broken heart.” I find it interesting that there really is a broken heart syndrome and it causes the heart to weaken and not function as it should and the causes for this syndrome can be emotional shock.  If ever our nation was shocked, it was in the viewing of the video that showed a police officer that is charged with protecting and serving the members of his or her community using his knee, placed on the neck of a man who we would come to know as George Floyd, in order to restrain him…and doing this for just under 9 minutes.  His choice of action would be the cause of Mr. Floyd’s death. We are now experiencing the symptoms of our collective broken hearts.  Protests…which in some cases has led to rioting and looting.  Calls for dis-banding our police department and a racial divide that has unfortunately seemed to grow even wider than it was prior to this shameful incident.

I stand with my brothers and sisters of color and all the discrimination they have gone through and are currently going through. I apologize for any time I have unwittingly said something that was prejudiced not realizing from my position of white privilege that it was prejudiced.  As a women I can recognize sexism in its many forms as I have experienced that form of prejudice. But I have never experienced racism.  So I don’t always know it when I see it or hear it.  I think the reasons for that is in part we are not taught just how systemic racism has been perpetuated in our country from its very beginnings…actually prior to its foundations. Or maybe it is because we have chosen not to learn. But I can learn and I choose to learn how I can ensure what I do and say…that all my actions and words erase discrimination of any kind from my life as I support all those who face discrimination in every aspect of their lives.  I can choose to not turn a blind eye to what I may think doesn’t impact my life when it in fact it does.  Because you see, whenever the least one among us is hurting or in need, we are hurt and in need too.

If you feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of all that is going on in our country and our world, of the massive number of changes and reforms that need to happen, let me remind you of an old adage that says: the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time.  If that sounds flippant to you I am sorry, but the best way to solve a major crisis in our towns, country, and world, the best place to begin change is to begin by changing ourselves.  By educating ourselves to the problems and digging deep for the truth. The truth is out there. One thing to keep in mind is that it may not be what we want to hear. We may discover how we personally have perpetuated discrimination. It will be important to keep an open mind to all you may learn as you educate yourself on why we are where we are right now in history. Understanding the truth, from all perspectives, is important and that means reading and learning all you can about how we got to where we are today.

Even though our current time in history seems bleak, I do have hope.  Just as God was there for my husband and I as we walked through heart surgery and continue to walk through his healing, giving us everything we needed and continue to need when and as we need it. I believe God will provide leaders who will rise up and help guide us through this difficult time in our nation.

In the meantime I hope you will choose to learn as much as you can about this issue that is so important to everyone no matter what color of skin you have as we seem to have forgotten that in saying all lives matter, black lives matter too.

Peace,

Pastor Beth

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