Robert Shine, “The Work of God’s Hands”

Pax Christi USA, 2017 - SAMPLE


Sunday, December 17
Isaiah 61:1-2a, 10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24; John 1:6-8, 19-28


“To heal the brokenhearted.” (Isaiah 61:1)

Heartbreak arrives in many forms; it is sometimes veiled, sometimes overt. In some moments, it comes at the loss of a loved one or an intimate relationship. In other moments, it appears when our hearts are broken open by another’s pain. We know too well when our own heart has been broken. Being brokenhearted pierces us in our deepest parts, and running to diversions becomes the easiest option. But when we run, we miss both the gift of being brokenhearted and God’s promise of healing.


It is a mystery of faith that being brokenhearted is what most often opens us to love more. God’s promise of healing gives us the courage to sit with a broken heart, and intentionally choose to look outward from own pain so it is joined with the suffering of the Other.

Without God’s promise, this solidarity would be overwhelming. The suffering in our world exposed by turning on the evening news or checking Twitter would be too much.


But with God’s promise, we know in our deepest parts not only broken hearts but hope. When we confront heartbreak without running, we find that it is these dual gifts of a broken heart and hope by which we can trust that when the year of favor comes and the day of vindication arrives, the spirit of God will heal us and heal our world.


By whom and how is my heart broken? Do I trust in God’s healing promise enough to rest in the gift of a broken heart?

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©2020 by Robert G. Shine