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Why we need our hearts broken

  Have you had your heart broken lately? It’s important that you do. It helps us to look like Jesus. America is such a comfortable place – and who doesn’t like comfort? The problem, though, is that comfort can be corrosive to our souls.   As uncomfortable as it may be, we need…
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes
Have you had your heart broken lately? It’s important that you do. It helps us to look like Jesus. America is such a comfortable place – and who doesn’t like comfort? The problem, though, is that comfort can be corrosive to our souls.
As uncomfortable as it may be, we need our hearts broken to keep them supple.
When I first started Adventures, I realized that the mobilization ministry is kind of dangerous. It’s dangerous insofar as it’s a step removed from the stuff that touches your heart – it’s a one-off. As a mobilizer, I’m helping others to have experiences, but I myself don’t have to put my heart at risk. And to be a Christian is to put your heart at risk.
I figure that if I want my heart to stay supple, looking like Jesus, that I need to put it at risk often. At least monthly.
From Guatemala, Kristen helped me put my heart back where it needs to be today by telling the following story.
In Guatemala City, pressed up against a concrete wall, is a neighborhood riddled with crime,
its grid divided by the gangs who claim it. And on the other side of
that wall is a mountain of trash, which tumbles into a valley and sits,
rotting in the sun. 
Here, people struggle to survive. There isn’t always enough food to fill
one stomach at the table, let alone all the little bellies begging for
nourishment. Lights blink on and off when the electricity is paid, and
water is too dirty to bathe in, let alone drink. Without insurance or
the money for medical care, many pregnant women give birth at home.
Their little ones aren’t reported to the government, and don’t receive
official documentation of their existence, like a birth certificate.
Simply put, legally these children do not exist and they cannot attend
A few years ago, a woman named Marta dreamed of a school for the children of the wall. Today she rents a
building for a school and a room in a nearby building for them all to
meet in, right across from the building she lives in, mere feet from the
trash heap. This isn’t just a school, however, for many of the children
live there as well. Abandoned by their families, they have no where
else to go. She takes them in, cooks for them every meal, and cares for
During the exercise class that happened after chapel, I noticed one
little girl not participating. She stood there with her finger in her
mouth, refusing to move. The teacher let her be, and I wondered why. A worker came over and motioned to the girl, “Do you see the little one
over there? Her father dropped her off at the school two weeks ago and
told us that he couldn’t do it anymore; that he couldn’t be her father
Just like that, she was abandoned.
That’s the little girl’s picture above. As a mobilizer in America, it’s so easy to look past her. But if I’ll allow her situation to get under my skin and connect with my heart, it might just be the greatest gift God has given me in months. If I’m to look like him, I need to feel what he does.
How often does your heart break for the things that break God’s heart? When it does, it’s a gift.

Comments (3)

  • My eyes are welled up with tears upon reading this tonight. Oh how I wish this was a rare occurrence. Unfortunately this happens daily around our world. THIS JUST ISN’T FAIR! I do have great hope though, as I see God’s spirit touching our teens and 20-somethings.

    “Lord Jesus, please come and raise up and army to rescue these kids. Holy Spirit, fill them, anoint them, empower them, and use them to bring your justice…”

  • today gods breaking my heart for my cousin jeremy woods. jeremy is 31. He lost his twin brother about 5 years ago.they were very close.after the passing of Jacob jeremy went through counseling and met a young lady,Sarah. Sarah is terminally ill.Her dream was to get married jeremy on Oct.7 of last year became Sarahs dream come true.I found out yesterday that Sarah is at Cleveland clinic on life support.My prayer is the LORD will use this situation to draw people close to him and reveal himself.There is a huge backstory of pain here,but this is what is pertinent today.I know from his word that god draws close to the broken hearted.So iknow hes with all those concerned I pray today he would heal hearts and bodies.

  • Hmm, the word on comfort reminded me of something I read recently from John Ortberg: “The decision to grow always involves a choice between risk and comfort. This means that to be a follower of Jesus you must renounce comfort as the ultimate value of your life.”
    We so often have comfort as an ultimate value. I recognize that even more now living in a different culture…

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.

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