Just Like Hers

I have to remind myself that the human capacity to love is universal.

That the depths to which the heart ignites and burns is a shared, God-breathed condition.

Because when I see the pictures

the pictures of those breathless babes

lain upon dirt and rock
washed upon shore
cradled in tears
bloodied by hate

the pictures that casually appear amidst coffee and Pandora

on a day that if you saw me, I would lament about the September heat

I want to tell myself that the extent to which I feel pain is my birthright.

        1. I am not calloused by violence


        1. I am not desensitized to death…


      1. Not like they are.

This is what I want to tell myself.

Because I want the coffee to go down smooth

the song that plays to mean what I want it to
the heat of the day to be a justifiable imposition.

I see those pictures of hate and helplessness

And I have to remind myself that my hands are no different than hers.

Her hands held him with fear and promise at first breath

      1. Just like mine.

Her eyes watched her chest rise and fall with overwhelming thankfulness

Just like mine.

Her heart broke with skinned knees and tears that streamed

Just like mine.

I am no different.

So I ask God to break my heart with what breaks his.

To put the coffee down and turn the music off.

To make the things that matter most, matter most.

Yes, God, I want a heart shattered into bits and bits

        1. to fall to my knees in desperation


      1. scrambling to put the pieces back together again.

I don’t want a heart persuaded by borders and language and 4-dollar lattes.

Persuade me, oh God, with the extent to which my heart can be broken

my mother’s hands can ache like hers
my mother’s eyes can sting like hers.

Because it is here I will find your heart, your hands, your eyes.

It is here we will wrap our arms around each other and grieve yet another loss.

And it is here where I will get to join you in your work

      1. where Shalom gets to work.

Shalom that seeps down into the finest cracks of the human condition

        1. good and evil


        1. abundance and lack


      1. laughter and tears.

Shalom that never turns away from how vile and gross and disgusting we can be.

Shalom that pounds on the door of what is hardened as vigilantly as it soothes the cry of desperation.

Shalom that dances in the light and searches in the darkness.

Shalom that knows no bounds.

Shalom that restores the broken hearts

      1. Just like mine.

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