Southern California sits on hidden faultlines. One would never know that they exist down there, until they collide.
What is true of the ground beneath my feet is also true for the heart I carry in my chest. My soul has a complex maze of faultlines that I don’t usually know exist until they collide, creating obvious repercussions in my life and those around me.
To be a broken human in a broken world is to have a broken, beating heart. We all carry faultlines, and those faultlines often collide with those unseen faultlines of others, even and especially those that we love most.
I am not sure why I continue to be shocked that my faultlines and those of others I love collide and leave messes. Human history proves that from the beginning of the undoing of the original four-fold harmony of the world (peace with God, peace with man, peace with self and peace with the earth), people’s plates have been colliding. When Jesus was on the earth, he told us it would be so.
When Jesus died on the Cross, the earth shook as hidden plates collided in revolt. The earth seemed to shout out that this was not right, yet only by His death and Resurrection could things be made right.
He promised us His presence. He gave us His healing balm, a balm that could only come from One who, though innocent, has suffered all things. He sent us the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, to lead and guide us into truth, to convict us, to enable to forgive and be forgiven.
When my faultlines get to moving, I find myself comforted by the obvious and regular collisions that occurred in the early Church. Paul, Peter and John, the three who spent the most time with Jesus, seem to spend most of their letters correcting and exhorting the broken body of Christ to continue to run to Christ in the midst of their conflicts.
Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:8-9.
Two simple verses, barely over twenty words. Easy to read, easy to memorize, yet oh-so-hard to live. On my own, I do not have the kind of love that covers sins or even miscommunications. I have the kind of limited love that tends to underline and emphasize the faultlines of others while minimizing my own. It is only when I have lingered long in the healing streams of His lavished, sacrificial love that I can even begin to apply this love to the collisions around me and within me.
When your faultlines get to grumbling and colliding with others, it is my prayer that you would be quick to remember the one who brings harmony and healing through His power.
Inflamed soul wounds pulse and throb,
As much, if not more, than their physical kin.
Unseen, yet frightfully real, pain and fear
Suddenly circulate from deep within.
Your human heart throbbed, steady and strong,
Beating beautifully in time with the Father’s will.
You walked steadily toward death and distress,
Of plentiful pain you willingly drank Your fill.
Your heart, completely crushed by the curse,
Laid sedentary there in the grave.
Then, throbbing again with Risen Life,
Walked You right out of that cave.
In prayer I present my throbbing heart
And open my pain and wounds to you.
Then Your scarred hands get to work,
Sanctifying me through and through.
There, with defenses finally laid down,
You speak Your hope into my story,
Making me throb with your love,
A love laced with grace and glory.