By EMILY CRAWFORD-THOMPSON, PH.D.
March 14, 2021
“Heart-shattered lives ready for love don’t for a moment escape God’s notice.” (Psalm 51:17, MSG)
At the beginning of the pandemic, as I was preparing to leave my agency job of 11 years and open a new practice, Columbia Psychology Healing Center, the phrase “broke open” kept coming to me. Suddenly and tragically, life as we knew it came apart, and our hearts were left open, vulnerable, and broken. Many faced devastating losses, and as I am writing this, COVID has claimed the lives of more than half a million people in the United States alone. That’s half a million brothers, sisters, children, spouses, friends, loved ones who leave many more in the wake of traumatic grief.
The phrase continues to circle around in my mind a year after the WHO declared a pandemic on 3/11/20. The phrase expands and repeats like a soothing whisper, “Broke open ready for LOVE.”
As life as we knew it shut down, slowed down, and an eerie quiet settled over us, our vision was brought into a laser sharp focus on what and who matters the most. Who is our “Quaranteam?” Who lifts us up, sustains us, encourages us, and gives us much needed hope that we will see a light at the end of this dark year? For many of us, distractions were greatly diminished, and this was an unexpected blessing. Forced to slow down and quiet our minds, reflection entered in and we were challenged to do a values assessment.
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.” (Psalm 147:3, NIV)
Through the darkness-the fear, uncertainty, disruption, loss, trauma, grief, and exhaustion-glimpses of light and love break through. “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5, NIV) Among many examples, Sixty-five percent of Americans said the pandemic has provided them with a “wake-up call” to reach out to their communities, A 9-year-old girl makes and donates hundreds of masks to healthcare workers, musicians found creative ways for the show to go on, and a 14-year-old became one of many “Vaccine Angels.”
As our nation became more polarized, divided, and deeply wounded with political and racial tensions, another phrase began to enter my mind; “Clarion Call for Unity.” You know that feeling when your heart hurts so badly for the unfathomable pain and depth of loss of so many, that even the tears do not soothe the physical heartache? Something happens to the heart when it is broken open like this, if we are willing to let it. Sometimes the light shines the brightest through the broken places.
Love, Unity, Clear Purpose, and Focused Vision are just a few of the things that enter into the broken heart and make it beautiful. We start to realize that all of us, each and every one of us, was created for NOW, for a specific reason(s). We start to question, “Am I fulfilling my purpose/calling?” What can I do to help? How can I contribute? What do I have to offer? And my friend, no matter what your circumstances, I know deep in my broken and healing heart that you, too, have a unique and important purpose that only YOU can fulfill. There is only one YOU and you are here for a reason. This hurting world needs you NOW, and more than ever before.
Make no mistake, many have faced and continue to endure loss that has brought us to our knees and knocked the wind out of us. And it is no doubt easy to find a great number of heartbreaking stories everywhere we turn.
But today, just for a moment, let your heart be challenged to find a glimpse of light, love, and hope. Search for the good news, and be the good news. Some places to start are the Good News Network and Daily Good.
“When wisdom wins your heart and revelation breaks in, true pleasure enters your soul.” (Proverbs 2:10, TPT)
Let’s keep this conversation going! Know of more examples of light shining through the darkness? Email me at [email protected] I would love to hear from you. Stay hopeful, my friend.