To Mend a Broken Heart

Chocolate Pencil"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves the crushed in spirit."  – Psalm 34:18 (RSV)

YEARS AGO, when my daughter was married, I discovered a reservoir of sadness over my own failed marriage. God provided friends to help me cope, and I thought it had gone. But when my middle child Phil married two years later, my sadness, I discovered, was still there.

I was little when my sisters and I were each given a large chocolate pencil. I hadn't had mine long before it broke. I was disconsolate. When my father came home, I went to him in tears with the two halves of my broken treasure. He sat me on his lap and, when I was all cried out, told me to fetch the matches and a candle from the mantel.

"Why?" I asked, sniffing through my lingering tears.

"You'll see."

He melted the broken ends of my pencil over the flickering flame, then quickly pressed the sticky chocolate together. A few slow spins over the flame and he was able to smooth the lumpy joining. When he handed me back my pencil, it was wondrously repaired and, though not as good as new, all the dearer to me. What had once been broken, my father had made whole!

Remembering my chocolate pencil, I prayed: Heavenly Father, I bring You the pain of broken dreams, knowing that whatever is broken, You will make wondrously whole.