There's a rather popular contemporary, Christian worship song that has been sung in churches across North America for the last decade or so. The message of the song is rather simple, yet deep and moving. The words roll off the tongue with ease and can feel so sincere until we truly process their meaning.
"Heal my heart and make it clean
Open up my eyes to the things unseen
Show me how to love like You have loved me
Break my heart for what breaks Yours
Everything I am for Your Kingdom's cause
As I walk from earth into eternity"
Hosanna, Hillsong United.
A beautiful melody with words that can move one to tears, but what happens when God takes those words as active prayers that He breathes into reality?
November 17th marks three years since my arrival in Haiti. Three years since my life turned absolutely and utterly upside down.
Three years since God breathed the aforementioned words into existence for me.
The thing with asking to God to break your heart for what breaks His is it doesn't happen just once. It's a slow release, a slow and steady release that teaches you a profound and revealing truth about yourself.
And your heart begins to break in irrevocable ways.
As your heart starts to break, it does so in ways you've never thought of or imagined. In a place like Haiti, it begins with the harsh reality of the utter cruelties of a life born amidst the muck and chaos of a tragically dysfunctional, crazy, yet beautiful, mystical island.
The utter stench of poverty and injustice rips through your nostrils and leaves you feeling empty and helpless.
The heartbreaking images of children dying of malnutrition, and orphaned by nothing other than economic instability stab a piercing wound into your soul.
All of these horrendous truths encompass your thoughts and emotions as you begin to feel an uneccesary amount of weight from the guilt of being born into privilege.
And then you start to move on to deeper, more complex parts of the heartbreak.
It comes in the form of betrayal by someone you poured so much into, believed so much in and hoped the best for.
It comes through the admittance that your life will never again look like those of whom you once knew so well.
It comes by realizing just how quickly death swoops in and takes up its prey.
In hearing stories so horrific, you force yourself to become desensitized in order to maintain some semblance of mental and emotional health.
In witnessing some of the most breathtaking natural wonders this world has to offer, while being simultaneously kicked in the face by the gut-wrenching reality of a life eternally afflicted by poverty, greed and corruption.
Sometimes you struggle to come up for air.
At times your heart feels as though it could fall out of your chest, though just when you thought your heart couldn't be broken anymore, something else drives by, shooting out yet another hole.
And there you are. An open, bloody, wounded mess.
Your heart so poured out, and so broken, you no longer find the strength to stand. It seems as though it will stop beating at any moment.
Asking God to break your heart for what breaks His isn't the type of prayer we realize we are praying. In all actuality, what we are asking is for Him to open our eyes in such a way that they can't ever be closed again.
That our hearts would be so broken, and our eyes and ears be so open, never again could we allow ourselves to fall under the deep slumber of apathy and ignorance.
He breaks our heart in a way that transforms us from our inner most core to our outer most being.
Agressive and cold its seems as the crevices of your heart tear and bleed, but the cracks and tears are resealed with gold.
Your former identity no longer feels familiar as a new, more beautiful and tender person comes forth.
One who has their feet more firmly planted on the ground, and clearer sense of purpose and direction.
You realize the value of life and how much yours can change another. While poverty and suffering won't ever fully disappear, you discover can devote you life to making a difference in changing the history for someone whose has been written by fear, pain and malediction.
You should consider the heaviness and weight of responsibility of the prayer for God to break your heart as His breaks before you being to pray such dangerous prayers.
Because, if you ask God to break your heart, He'll take you seriously, and your life will never be the same.