Tag Archives: heartbreak

My Confession of Tears

I have a confession to make. I had quite an experience the other night. My heart broke, and my  body collapsed into a crumbling blubbering mass. At first I did not understand what had happened to me upon hearing that voice.

Because that voice and the power that pierced through the crevasses of the never-cry rock of my heart was beyond explaining–though now I try.

The words in the Italian were unintelligible and superfluous. It was the sadly moving melody channeled by the force of the cords of the tenor’s voice–that is what did it. That is what broke through into the realms of the core of my being–into the secret chamber where lurks the hidden desires and dreams which serve as mortar that plasters and binds our bricks of tenderness into stone.

As I sat there stunned, weeping uncontrollably in waves of joy and sorrow, at 4: 00 am in front of the television set, a blue dawn of understanding began to come over me. I remember saying to myself, “I get what they see in opera now. I get it.”

The catharsis produced in this art form is similar to the effect of Shakespeare’s tragedies, which I taught many years. I have also experienced it in the sadness and loneliness of traditional country songs by Vern Gosdin and George Jones among others. Nothing sadder than lost love as in “You don’t know lonely until it’s chiseled in stone” or “He stopped loving her today; they placed a wreathe upon his door; soon they’ll carry him away. He stopped loving her today.”

The human need for catharsis is universal. And it seems that most cultures try to meet the need  to have our hearts broken. We must need it–the humbling, the vulnerability of a man whose defensive walls break down leaving him sobbing vehemently.

We fight it at first, of course, doing our best to stop the raindrops from our eyes, knowing innately the emotional sea change that will ensue. And yet, deep down we want to be broken. If we did not, then the patently sad movies, books, plays, songs, and operas would cease to sell copies and tickets.

God evidently made us this way, with this need and desire to be purged and purified through brokenness. After all, He did say that He is near to them of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I just did not know that He would use Puccini’s “Nessun Dorma” sung by Mario Lanza to do the breaking.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

 

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Filed under humility, repentance, spiritual growth

Be Still and Know that I Am God–After the Heartbreak

It has been a bumpy ride for most of us who have been called by God to be His children in these last days.  Most of us have been a part of a church, fellowship, or Christian organization that did not end well.

On our trek to the Celestial City, we stop at way stations until sometimes we are forced to move on to our next ordained experience.  Through much anguish and tears we often leave the fellowship of Christian brethren.  So many congregations have split and fractured, along with our own hearts, and we are left wondering why.

Why, God?

Why, God?  Why did it end the way it did?  Disillusioned and hurt some thirty years ago, my family and I stumbled into the next phase of our life.  I could not understand how the Christian brother that had helped me find Christ and His deliverance from drug addition was the one who ran me off fourteen years later.  My world was shattered and torn, and I wandered aimlessly, listlessly, not seeking succor from God at all.

After five years in which my wife Linda and I finished our Bachelor degrees and teaching certificates (for we knew we were called to be teachers), a kind of a spiritual renewal of sorts began in my heart.

Any of us who have gone through a rocky spiritual transition have horror stories, and I wince for all who endure these disillusioning changes.  God is not forgetful, however, of our sufferings; He knows that betrayal by those you love is the sharpest knife.  Of course, few of us know at the time that “all things are of God”—even the betrayal of His loved ones, us.

And yet our initial question persists: Why, God, did it have to end?  Five years after the breakup, I started to get an answer to this question.  It is God and what He’s doing in the earth, and it has not ended.

For me, that initial phase of spiritual boot camp had ended, but God was not through.  Then, as a babe in Christ, I needed a drill instructor to prod and push me to serve God the way they thought He should be served.

No, His love for us was not expended.  That good thing that He started in us all shall be performed with His help.  He’s not finished; us trying to serve Him by constraint is.

Maybe that’s why it took me five years to start to put some things together.  No one was prodding me anymore to seek God.  The mentor, tutor and governor was gone.  The words of the old song came to mind: “You gotta walk that lonesome valley.  You gotta walk it by yourself.  Nobody else can walk it for you.  You gotta walk it by yourself” [chorus of “The Reverend Mr. Black” sung by the Kingston Trio].

It was up to me and God.  Only now it was better because of the knowledge base we had been taught.  And I was taught among many things, these two things:  “If it is a plan of men, it will come to naught.”  And, “Prove all things.”  Don’t take anyone’s word for it.  Prove it out in the word with two or three witnesses.

It had been five years of wandering (at least it wasn’t forty), and it was now time to reprove everything.  I had to find out what went wrong at the “mission,” that way station that we served in for fourteen years as everyday missionaries during half of our twenties and most of our thirties.

So where does one start to pick up the spiritual pieces and examine every one of those pieces?  I decided to begin my meditations at the beginning: God, His plan, and His purpose.

Be Still and Know that I Am God

That very winter night in January 1990 I laid out under the stars and marveled at Orion and Cassiopeia and the Little Dipper and witnessed the evening star bright in the west.  And realized that every star was just where it was five years ago.  They had all hung there like dazzling pinpoint paintings on the walls of heaven, immutable, constant, symbols of God Himself.

And my dog Zack, my faithful “chopped ’57 German Shepherd,” was there, seeing only me.  He couldn’t appreciate and take in the stars in all their orderly glory.  It wasn’t for him to know anything about the heavenly realms and who created them.  That was my domain.  His was to know and love me, and he was content to accompany me into the field and lay with me in the grass while I mused about the Creator and His creation.

And it was then that I realized the very special place in the creation that man has—the thing about us that makes us so special above all other beings on the face of the earth: man is the only creature specifically made to not only appreciate God, but also be like Him.  I had known that, but hadn’t thought about it in years.

The utter simplicity of it.  Lay down, look up, be still and know that I am God.  Do not corrupt the simplicity of Christ.

The simplicity.  “God is a Spirit,” and “that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

And there I had found my starting point in reproving the teachings and doctrine of Christ.  I would no longer blindly take the word of someone without proving it out first.  His word speaks of a time that you would have no need that a man teach you, for the Spirit of truth shall be with you and dwell in you.

God is an invisible Spirit of love and those born out of this spiritual essence are spirit.  I would now study the scriptures with no preconceived dogma, doctrine, or ideas.  I would study it much like I did as an English major–reading the literary works as they are and telling it like it is without prejudice or preconceptions.  I would dig deep and build it on the Rock, looking unto the eternal things and not the physical, temporary things.  The quest in earnest had begun.

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Filed under church, eternal purpose, immortality, spiritual growth

Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?

     Why does God let the righteous and innocent suffer?  I have learned that bad things happen to the innocent because God allows it–for a very specific purpose.  It is a tough concept for us to swallow because we would not, of course, do it that way.  “Our thoughts are not His thoughts; our ways are not His ways.”  But “one event happens to them all” (Eccle. 2:14).  And that event is the suffering, usually at the hands of others.

     God allows bad things to happen to us so that we will have something or someone to forgive.  We are to be like Him; therefore, we need something to forgive. 

     We have to enter into the mind of God as seen in the scriptures in order to see His purpose, which is to make us His sons and daughters.  First, we are born of God.  He is our Father.  And then the law of harvest says, “Each seed bears its own kind.”  

     So if we indeed are His children, then we will have to do what He did, which is to forgive. If no one ever wronged us, we would never have an opportunity to forgive someone for the betrayals, lies, cheats, thefts, broken promises, et al, that we suffer at their hands.  Even when “acts of God” happen to us, we must forgive this “perceived wrong” that “God has done to us.”  If we don’t forgive, we harden into a bitter knot of gall that rises up in the center of our being and ruins us and those around us.

     I searched for this answer for 30 years before God was gracious enough to show me.  For, you see, I was accused wrongfully by someone that I loved, and it hurt with a pain that surpassed mere heartbreak.  This about forgiveness was not learned from a book, for one cannot take this in intellectually.  It was a revelation to me one day while I was, as Emerson and Thoreau said, in a receptively transcendental mood. 

     This knowledge healed me of the pain.  “The truth shall make  you free.”  Free from the wondering why, free from the tricks our hearts and minds play on us, free from the imaginations, doubts, and recriminations. 

     And so I pass this on to you.  Hope this helps.  Kenneth Wayne Hancock

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Filed under children of God, forgiveness, sons and daughters of God

Unrequited Love–The Ultimate Heartbreak

     I have a confession to make.  I cried today.  Unrequited love–life’s great theme seen in our literature, arts, and song.  It gets you every time, this “loving someone and that love not returned in kind.”

     I was listening to Jose Luis Perales and Alejandro Fernandez sing Perales’s “Por que’ esta soledad” (Why This Loneliness?).  I was galloping with the country rock rhythm, at once soaring with the music and yet saddened by the lyrics.  A rough translation of some of the words:

     WHEN I SEE YOU LEAVE AT HIS SIDE/ Cuando te veo ir a su lado/

SMILING SO HAPPY, CARESSING HIM/ sonriendo tan feliz, acariciandolo,

HANGING SHAMELESSLY FROM HIS WAIST/ colgada sin pudor de su cintura…

AND ME, SO IN LOVE WITH YOU/ Y yo enamorado de ti

IN LOVE JUST LIKE THE FIRST DAY WHEN I DIDN’T KNOW THE MOST BITTER SIDE OF LOVE/ AND I ASK MYSELF, WHAT HAPPENED TO US?  ALL THE TENDERNESS I GAVE YOU/

WHY THIS LONELINESS?/  Por que’ esta soledad?

     And at that instant, I thought of the greatest of unrequited loves the world has ever known–God loving mankind, and it not returned in kind.  And that’s what took the catharsis to the next level where my eyes got wet, the tears fell, and the heart broke.

     These words came to mind.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. He came unto his own, and his own received him not…He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not…(John 1-10-11; Isaiah 53:3). 

     I needed this type of catharsis.  It hurts when our halting overtures of love are not returned in kind.  If we will multiply that pain by one thousand, then perhaps we might get a glimpse into the heart of God, into the ultimate heartbreak.  And that is a good place for us to be.     Kenneth Wayne Hancock     

    

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Filed under Christ, love, Love from Above, mind of Christ