Our hearts of stone become hearts of flesh when we learn where the outcast weeps. ~ Brennan Manning
I loved this when I first read Abba’s Child. I loved the poetry and imagery. I loved the idea of it. But I didn’t get it – not really.
The day came when I knew I didn’t know. How do you learn where the outcast weeps? I’d heard things like: Look at Jesus. Do what He did. He hung out with the outcasts. Go and hang out.
And that’s true, but there’s more.
Jesus was an outcast. So was His Father. They still are. That’s the mark of grace.
For a very long time, I did all I could do not to be an outcast. I tried so hard to do everything right. I was afraid of being broken. I was afraid of the rejection. I was afraid of the embarrassment. I was afraid of being hurt. I protected my heart until it hardened. God has a name for that. Pride.
First pride, then the crash. The bigger the ego, the harder the fall. ~The Message, Proverbs 16:18
I didn’t want to stand in the soup line. I wanted to be the one serving it up. I wanted to be the one who gave and didn’t need to get. I didn’t get it.
Only broken people know where the outcast weeps because they’ve wept there.
I’m not going to kid you, grace will mark you, break you. You’ll never look perfect again. Not to yourself and not to others. You’ll mend but the cracks will always show. It all depends on what you want.
If you want a heart of flesh, don’t just hang with the outcasts, admit that you are one. Then go to the place where the outcast weeps and find comfort.