1. Love. Don't stop. Keep going. Love especially in the small, small ways. Mother Teresa says, “we can do no great things, only small things with great love.” The temptation to curl up into a ball, to put up a hard, crustaceous exterior, may be great – but don't give in. Let love flow forth. The love that passes through and out of your heart at this time, of all times, will be the richest and most precious love you have given yet.
Blood flows most freely and wildly from a broken vessel.
A constant current will both bless those around you, and wash your heart of all the sickness within. Urge others to be gentle with you – but accept love, too. And, most importantly, open yourself up to the hands of your Creator, as he tenderly tinkers with the pieces of the wondrous organ that he himself first fashioned. Know that his sorrow for this brokenness is the greatest, greater even than yours, and that he mourns the wounds dealt to his beautiful handiwork, which he created out of pure Love. Remember that He suffered and died not just to redeem our souls, but to redeem the entire human experience – even suffering itself. We are no longer helpless victims of the evils of this world; we do not have to numbly accept suffering as some sort of meaningless, frightening ordeal. His sufferings have given our sufferings meaning and purpose – we can unite all our hardships to the Passion of our King at Calvary for the sake of eternal life. We can be soldiers, we can be warriors, we can be princes and princesses. We can set this world on fire.
2. Beauty. Sense it, seek it, hunt it out. Or sit back and let it romance you. Or do both, in turns. Strive to know it with the three cardinal virtues: have faith in it, hope in it, love it. Love in and through it. To me, Beauty is what constantly and eternally whispers, “it is going to be alright. And in the end, it is going to be glorious.” Beauty allows me to laugh in the face of my fears. If Nikolai Berdyaev is right, if Beauty will, indeed, “save the world,” then it can, beyond all doubt, save the broken heart.
But we all knew that already.
Image: "Hope" by George Frederic Watts.
He's alone, he's blindfolded, he's slumped over in weariness...but that doesn't keep him from making beautiful music on his harp.