Don’t Close Your Heart To Manchester
The world hurts.
But not as much as it should.
Because honestly, I closed myself off, tried not to feel much over Manchester. Not because it wasn’t an utterly abhorrent thing, not because the loss of innocents isn’t tragedy, not because the inside of me shouldn’t cry at such loss, but because I shut myself off from the pain. There’s too much — I don’t want to feel.
Something inside cries that I’ll be crushed if I do. Because month upon month, week upon week, day upon day, some new horror overwashes us.
I don’t want to acknowledge it. I don’t want to accept it, because then I must accept too that our world is shattered.
This place where we thought at least children are safe — it doesn’t exist. This world where people’s lives were respected — it’s not here. Our world, our towns, our homes, man himself, is shattered.
And looking back we realize that perhaps that’s all it has ever been. Throughout the ages, there have always been Auschwitzes, there have always been Twin Towers, there have always been children sold as sex slaves. Our world is terribly, utterly broken, skewing wildly side to side, and tilting our head to make it all look fine is futile.
And we try so very hard to deny it. We live in our nice communities, with our homeowner’s restrictions and our white picket fences and our painted front doors with locks to ensure that the wickedness is kept out — but the problem is on the inside.
It’s not the Hitlers out there, it’s not the terrorists out there, it’s not the traffickers out there.
It’s the hatred in here.
The lust. The lies. The anger, the selfishness, the lurking green monsters that are inside each of us. There’s no escape from the horrors, we are them. Just look in the closest mirror.
We are the shattered ones, sacrificing people for careers, truth for lies, love for some sense of fun. Like the Aztecs of old, we slay all on the altar of ME, but it’s our own hearts we’ve cut out. Our world is shattered, and we’re the ones who’ve done it.
Mankind is utterly, completely broken, the world along with him. We ask why, seeking to point fingers at the mistakes of others, placing the blame on some previous decade. But we’re not going far enough. We’re not searching deep enough, and we’re not looking far enough back.
The fault isn’t with the neighbors, education, terrorists, or the government; we didn’t go wrong in the 90’s, the 20’s, or even the 1800’s; we’re not looking far enough away nor close enough to home. The answer is both at the infinitival distance and the closest proximity — the beginning of time and depths of our soul. Because both made the same choice. Both are shattered by the same wrong.
We’ve chosen, both in the beauty of the Garden and the twistedness of our heart, to rebel. To love the darkness over the light. To love created things over the Creator. And so we’re shattered. When a glass tears itself out of its purpose and the hand that holds it, it’s destroyed. And we’ve taken the rest of the world down with us.
We’ve shattered our world. We’ve shattered our souls. We’ve shattered ourselves. What left is there to put us back together? And who even would if they could? We chose this; and by all justice, if a man makes a mistake, a man should have to remedy that mistake. Only a man can fix mankind’s mistakes, but we can’t, we’re broken and have no power. Man is broken and nature is broken, only something outside of both can right them. The patient doesn’t remedy himself, the glass has no glue of its own.
A man must fix our shattered brokenness. But only the Man can.
Do we see now how imperative His humanity is? Without it there is no just remedying of man’s wrong. Do we see now how imperative His Deity is? Without it there is no power to remedy man’s wrong. The only one who should right this is man, the only one who could right this is God. And the only one they intersect in — Jesus.
He saw the shattered, broken, raw and bloody mess that we’ve made of ourselves and our world. And He said, I’ll take the blame. I’ll take the punishment. I’ll take the curse. He paid the price for man’s wrong, that He might offer men His right.
He made Him to be sin for us, who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. (2 Cor 5:21)
Do we see the cost of our sin? We shattered ourselves, we shattered Creation, and the Godhead voluntarily shattered himself for a moment, just to win us back. How awful a wrong, how glorious a love!
But that’s not to say that the wrong overpowered the love. True, yes, Love willingly gave Himself, His life, up for the wrong. But wrong was not victorious. Sin could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him. Bursting forth in the glorious light of a new day, Jesus rose again, now enthroned on the right hand of majesty on high, coming soon to rule and reign with His saints. Love has won, the Light has overcome, and the song of the Lamb we sing.
The world hurts. But not as much as it could.
Because if this was all there is, if there was no hope of seeing loved ones again, if there was no promise that all would come right in the end, if we were forever entrapped in our brokenness and sin, then all would be hopeless. We’d be left only with our bombed concerts, our torn families, our crumbled hearts. But — through Jesus — that’s not all there is.
We are lost. But He offers us the way. We are in darkness. But He offers us light. We are slaves to our schedules, our safeties, our sins; but He offers us freedom and an eternity of being rulers with Him.
We are shattered. But He offers us wholeness.
Will we take it?