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THIS I KNOW – GOD IS NEAR THE BROKEN-HEARTED

The Lord is near to the broken-hearted, and saves the crushed in spirit.
Psalm 34:18

At the end of his novel A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway concludes: “The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places.” He confronts us with the great mystery of how brokenness makes some people better, while others, bitter. The same shattering blow renders some victors, and others, victims.

Surely a key to growing through my brokenness is to know that God is near to the broken-hearted. Rather than being put off by my brokenness, or failure to get my life together, God is actually drawn to me in that moment. When I have something broken I want to fix it or trade it in for a new one. But I can know that God seeks me out in my brokenness. He rushes to me as a physician rushes to the lost and the injured (Matthew 9:10-13). God never turns me away as too sick or too broken. He is “near” to me and He “saves”!

Quaker educator Parker Palmer tells a Hasidic tale in which a disciple asks his rebbe (i.e. rabbi): “Why does the Torah tell us to ‘place the holy Word UPON your heart’? Why does it not tell us to place the holy Word IN our hearts?” The Rebbe explained: “It is because as we are, our hearts are closed, and we cannot place the holy Word IN our hearts. So we place them UPON our hearts. And there the Word stays until, one day, the heartbreaks and the words fall IN.”

After suffering the brokenness that is divorce, I sat in the back row of a Sunday service longing for, praying for some healing. On the church bulletin, I saw today’s scripture text. At that moment God’s words fell IN my heart. I knew the LORD is near to the broken-hearted and felt Him near to me!

PLANT A THOUGHT… Repeat, Tell, Write, Create

A Fellow Traveler,
Tim

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You will bring water from rock for the community.
Numbers 20:8

We take our name from the Bible’s story of the archetypal Exodus journey during which the people of God came to a place in the desert wilderness where there was no water. Yet, it was there in a hostile wilderness that they experienced God’s provision of water for them and leadership into a new future. We trust in a God who still provides, renews and leads His people.

Rooted in the Word

We are a ministry of Christian renewal rooted in the Living Word, Jesus Christ, as He reveals Himself through His Written Word, the Bible. Through the Written Word we encounter the Living Word in the incomprehensible wonder of His love. We are mindful that knowledge, even of the Bible, “puffs up” while love “builds up” (1 Corinthians 8:1). We engage the Scriptures seeking to love more and know more of love. We purpose to search out God’s Word with both our minds and our hearts.

Ecumenical in Outlook

We honor all followers of Christ who have gone before us, and all who are among us now. We have much to learn and receive from all who have a lived experience of God’s transforming love. By reaching out to embrace the universal Body of Christ we strive to balance orthodoxy (right belief) and right living (orthopraxy).

In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.
(Rupertus Meldenius, 1582 – 1651)

Experiencing the Living God

We thirst to know God and not just to know about Him. We long for a living experience of God. We believe that God breaks into our world on the holy ground of His Word, and seek through His Spirit a living encounter with Him there. We daily aim to love God with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength (Mark 12:30).

The arms of God be around my shoulders,
The touch of the Holy Spirit upon my head,
The sign of Christ’s cross upon my forehead,
The sound of the Holy Spirit in my ears,
The fragrance of the Holy Spirit in my nostrils,
The vision of heaven’s company in my eyes,
The conversation of heaven’s company on my lips,
The work of God’s church in my hands,
The service of God and the neighbor in my feet,
A home for God in my heart,
And to God, the Father of all, my entire being. Amen.
—Fursey of Yarmouth, 6th century Irish monk

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