DMX and the Ballad of the Brokenhearted

Have you ever looked into the eyes of someone who has been truly brokenhearted? Perhaps you have and they were your very own eyes? If you have, then you’ll likely agree with me that despite what romantic entertainment will have you believe, there are relatively few people who have been completely brokenhearted. To give you an idea of how I am using the word, I submit Jesus as King of the brokenhearted. This the heart of a person who despite being despised and forsaken did not let his heart get corrupted by his suffering but rather chose to love through the hate many showed him even unto death. How many of us can say we’ve done that?

Even when we call ourselves being “head over heels in love”, most people hold back in their relationships for fear of getting hurt or “looking stupid”. If we don’t do that, we take our pain out on others who had nothing to do with our prior relational disappointments (whether from family of origin or some romantic relationship gone sour). On the contrary, like the light of the sun that will give its light fully until the day it is extinguished, those who love enough to get their heart truly broken by this world  time and time again will pour and pour out their being until they are no more. It takes a special kind of fool to keep putting themselves out there this way and the rapper DMX is that kind of fool. I can say that with authority because it takes a fool to know one.

When I first heard DMX’s voice, I could hear in it the resonance of someone who has cried out in anguish as he wrestled with his own sanity trying to reconcile a God of Love with a world that was the context for so much of his pain. In that voice, is the tension of one who is holding justification at bay–struggling with the choice to not give the pain he experienced back to the world.

If you don’t transform your suffering, you will transmit it. ~ Richard Rohr

There was a time when I had to make the choice that I would rather die or be destroyed than give the suffering to others that I had experienced. To get to that point, I had to choose to let my heart be broken to a point where I thought I might never be able to recover, rather than close my heart to love–what many would consider a fool’s choice. This didn’t come without a whole lot of resistance on my part until, from my experience, God snatched me up from the fruitless path I was headed down.

As a recipient of grace, I feel great compassion for DMX’s situation. When I read his autobiography, I got deeper insight into the suffering he is transforming. With the early life he had, he could be doing a lot of intentional harm to others or dead by now. Instead he seems to be doing what many of the brokenhearted eventually do–they destroy themselves in their efforts not to cause harm to others. Unfortunately, this does not work in God’s realm of Oneness.

If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. ~ Paul of Tarsus (1 Corinthians 12)

The links below will review some experiences I had while wrestling with the above-mentioned tension. I usually review these whenever X goes to prison. So at least every couple of years.

God of the Brokenhearted,

Rather than pray for healing, I pray for transformation. Rather than being understood, I pray to be understanding. May X and all ministers to the Broken use our experiences to be compassionate and may the world receive that compassion for our mutual benefit.

Amen

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