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Missing Hearts

It’s a season of connecting with those you love and those you missed. As for me, I fell in love with three new people this past year.  Yes, I already had met them the year before. But I had to be around them enough in ’14 to really come to love them. Isn’t that how life is? We love those …
By Seth Barnes

It’s a season of connecting with those you love and those you missed. As for me, I fell in love with three new people this past year. 

Yes, I already had met them the year before. But I had to be around them enough in ’14 to really come to love them. Isn’t that how life is? We love those whom we know. If you want to love someone deeply, hang out with them and ask questions.

There were others who I’ve come to love, but when Phil, Christina and Marston all entered our family and began to find their places there, it was different – these are people who will be with Karen and me for life!

Actually, Marston and I are more than just relatives – we’ve become drinking buddies. I raise a glass of something I’m drinking and call out to him, “Cheers!”

And Marston responds by raising his sippy cup and saying, “Eeers!” 

Then I say, “Drink up!” And we both pour it down the hatch.

Even while he and Joe and Talia have been away in California, thanks to the magic of Facetime, we regularly conduct our ritual. I lift my glass to the iphone and he does the same on his end, drinks deeply, and throws his head back and laughs.

And though it’s magic, still, I miss my grandson. During his time here in Georgia, we had bonded. We played together every day. I got down on the rug at his level and made him roar with laughter. He would see me coming home and burst out, “Papa!”

Yes, my heart would leap. I can’t help it.

And after bonding, to be separated is to miss the piece of my heart that Marston occupied.

Can you relate – is there a piece of your heart someone occupies that you miss?

So often in this modern, hardscrabble life that we live, we miss people, but we do so for the wrong reasons. We miss them because we don’t understand them. They meant to communicate one thing. And we heard another – so we missed each other.

But Christmas is about reconnecting with those whom we miss like I miss Marston.

If Adventures (where I work) has a ministry where we score, it’s in connecting people to their hearts and to the hearts of others. Our staff is great at that. It’s a miracle that gets repeated over and over wherever we go.

We take people out of their comfort zones and hiding places. Many of them may have wounds and bruises on their hearts. They’ve shut down their hearts to protect them. And if pieces of their hearts are missing, they hide from the fact.

Jesus came to earth not just to enter our hearts, but to make our hearts whole again. To reconnect them to those pieces that have gone missing.

And we come to earth the same way. We go to the world with the same purpose – looking for sheep who have gone missing. Looking for hearts that are broken and in pieces. And reconnecting people to the one who loves them most.

I once prayed with a man who hadn’t talked to a God in a long time. He didn’t believe that God would talk to him, but we found a quiet place and he agreed to wait in silence with me in case God might say something.

After a while, a tear began to roll down his cheek. 

“What did God say?” I asked.

“He said, ‘I’ve missed you.'”

God missed my friend. And maybe if we’ve felt the long silence of a mute God enfolding us lately, he’s missed you and me too.

Some questions for us to meditate on as we connect with those we’ve missed in one way or another:

Who owns a piece of your heart? Who do you miss? Will you reconnect with that piece of your heart that they occupy this Christmas season? Are they secretly hoping you will?

Christmas is a time for unwrapping secrets. This year, why not commit to make your secret hoping a reality?

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