Wednesday, October 26, 2011

500 Words

The heart breaking makes a sound, I never knew could be so beautiful and loud, fury filled and we… collide.

The heart breaking makes a sound.

Sometimes it’s loud, like a freight train’s horn as it rattles by you sitting in your car facing the tracks. Sometimes it’s softer like the sound of your roommate’s glasses under your left foot when you jump from the top bunk to the floor.

Loud or soft, it makes a sound.

It’s nice when it’s loud. You hear it, and your professor hears it, and your mother, and even your 82-year-old grandfather who won’t wear his hearing aides hears it. And this is comforting. Most everyone will give you space to pick up the pieces… grief has struck and everyone knows it takes time to put your heart back together.

When the sound is softer, managing our hearts becomes a little trickier. We may not even recognize that the crack, that little pain, those wide eyes with the fluttering lids symbolize the breaking of our hearts, our ideals, our paradigms… ourselves.

I did a lot of laughing when I came to Jewell. I loved, loved, loved college and my gluttony for this new chapter of life was not without cause. I was getting a great education, making fabulous friends, eating delicious desserts at every meal…

But for as much as I loved my first year at Jewell, it did not pass without a tear or two. For “Responsible Self” I turned in a reflective essay to Dr. Walters at the end of the semester: a 17 page, size 9 font, personal novella about my struggles (sorry Mark!).

Life which had seemed so fun to explore, so easy to discern, so manageable became convoluted, complicated, and more confusing the further away from home I traveled.

You know what I mean.

You watch 60+ wild, beautiful animals killed after their owner set them loose and then committed suicide; you see the rebellions in Libya, Egypt, Syria, the cost of which we hope is worth the freedom; you read about the middle class marching on Wall Street and beyond, not welfare families, but people like us seeking justice in this shallow, selfish economy; the 13th anniversary of Matthew Shepard’s death passes and you know we’re still not done hating the gays; and to top it all off, you can hear your suitemate throwing up her food every night and you struggle whether or not to tell someone.

The heart breaking makes a sound, I never knew could be so beautiful and loud, fury filled and we… collide.

Take hope.

The God who gives us the Ozarks and cherry pie and Arrested Development is the same God who gave Abraham a promise, the Hebrews manna, and Israel a Messiah. God has not left us without hope. The Spirit moves among us like a crisp breeze, breathing sustenance into fatigue and life into death. And we… collide… with God.

And in that collision the depravity and the divinity get all jumbled together and we begin to see it all is sacred so long as God is with us on the journey. So long as God is at home in our hearts.


Rev. Ann Pittman

William Jewell College Chapel

October 26, 2011

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