I am up at Potter’s Inn at Aspen Ridge this week. It is a writing week for me and I’ve enjoyed myself by having lots of time alone, time to hike and time to read as well as, yes— to write. But this week, I’ve been struck with the image that a fellow Pilgrim took of what we are called, “The Weeping Heart.” This incredible image was captured on a simple iphone camera but shows more than we an imagine. Do you remember how Catholics would believe and claim to actually see imagines of Mary and other saints in various locations? Well, The Weeping Heart is not making that kind of claim but how it came to be was quite by accident. Our neighbor was trimming trees and trimmed a Douglas Fur that has been standing strong near the Longing Bench on our Prayer trail for years and years.
Little did he know that as he trimmed the tree, the wound left would reveal a weeping heart shape image. If you look closely at this image you can see more than just a heart and some sap running down that makes it look like the heart is weeping. You can see a faint cross in the middle of the heart–and from the cross shape flows the sap and tears.
Last night this Pilgrim came over to our cabin and gave us a beautiful 8 x 10 framed copy of The Weeping Heart. I’ve been looking at the picture alot these past few hours and reminded again of how much this image really does communicate a spiritual truth. God’s love really pours out onto us to the extent that Jesus not only weeps at the tomb of his dearly beloved friend, Lazarus but in this story, we see that God weeps. God weeps. Sit with that sentence–those two words along can arrest the heart and make us stop in our tracks.
The news today is full of fear of another recession; another double dip. Jobs are few. God weeps.
Two of my friends are fighting for their lives from a battle with cancer. God weeps.
I struggle to live out my life–my only life and live what I believe; practicing some of what I’ve written about and spoken about. It’s not easy. I feel alone. God weeps.
I watch my three soldier sons and my one golfing son “wonder” about their future; their lives; their sense of calling. God weeps.
I brought my two godsons up here for a 36 hour get away and watched their child-likeness, knowing what this old world is going to do to their precious hearts and their amazing naiveite….and know that God weeps too.
You should make a point in the next few weeks to come up to the retreat, walk the Prayer Trail and sit at the Longing Bench which is where the Weeping Heart can be found. Whatever you are facing, it might be good to be reminded that God weeps with you.
There’s real comfort in this weeping heart of God.
Photo by Slyvia Goroski at Potter’s Inn at Aspen Ridge