Broken Heart, Weary Soul, Busy Mind

Dear God,

There’s a Bible passage that instructs me to how to love you. A religious legal expert asked Jesus to name the greatest commandment, to which he replied, “Love the Lord your god with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” This was the kind of verse all of my childhood Sunday school teachers insisted I commit to memory. While the younger me hated memorizing scripture, those lessons have stuck with me, roaming the halls of my cerebral library, following neurotransmitters between my temporal lobes and prefrontal cortex. Synapses follow a mental Dewey Decimal System and memories open like borrowed books then I recall those words, “Love God with all of my heart, soul, and mind.”

It was such a simple concept when I was younger. Youthfulness tends to throw ourselves into pursuits with reckless abandon. When I was into something, I was all in. Every last drop of my being dedicated to whatever it is I chased. Yet today, as a forty year old man, I’m not sure I understand what this verse means anymore.

How do I love you with my whole heart? It’s been broken and abused so many times I’ve lost my ability to count. A bullied childhood, a geeky outcast, the last one picked, a perennial loser. Ignored by my peers, rejected over and over again by high school crushes. I grew up to work dead end jobs and endured a broken marriage that ended in divorce. Even though you gave me another chance at romance, I occasionally feel unworthy of her love. Yeah, I have a heart but it’s weak and damaged.

How do I love you with all of my soul? I’m so weary watching our world; if humanity has a soul, I don’t even know if it’s worth redeeming. I don’t know why you would make the effort. Greed and corruption permeates every institution from our churches to our governments. The people who claim to love you the most are often least likely to act like Christ. I continually hope for the best, and day after day I see the worst. I’m tired and discouraged. Sure, I have a soul, but it is heavily burdened.

How do I love you with my entire mind? It’s so busy. There are days my brain hurts from too many external stimulants with an abundance of information to be absorbed. On Wednesday, I went to the store to buy ingredients for homemade cranberry sauce. I spent $50 and managed to forget the cranberries, yet somehow I can still remember all of the lyrics to every song on Third Eye Blind’s debut album. I can only learn and retain a finite amount of data and my capacity has been exceeded. The way my brain functions is illogical and I can barely make sense of it. Of course I have a mind, but it’s crowded and dysfunctional.

Jesus said I should love you with all of it. The healthy bits and the sick. The simple and the complex. The parts that work and the damaged parts. Whether I know how or I am clueless.

So I love you. My heart has been shattered but you can have it, all of the broken pieces. My soul is heavy but it’s yours. If there’s anything worth saving, you can take it. My mind is crowded but it is dedicated. Whatever is left belongs to you. I might not know how to love you with my heart, soul, and mind, but I’m going to love you anyways.


1 comment:

  1. You are such an amazing writer ❤ thank you!