Sunday, September 18, 2016

Owner of A Broken Heart

Occasionally when I cannot express what I feel in words, I use fabric, paper, paint, an X-acto knife or scissors to give language to my thoughts.

Several years ago, I had no words for what I was experiencing. I drew a 12" wide heart on fabric, cut the heart into twelve pieces, hand-sewed the pieces together, then appliqued the heart on a large piece of cloth. I repeated the same cycle nine times - cutting a large heart, making twelve pieces, hand-sewing the piece together, and appliqueing to fabric.

Recently I came across the quilt that I stashed in a closet. I noticed many of the pieces of the hearts were frayed, coming apart and worn. Preparing to put the quilt in a bag for Goodwill, I noted the beautiful design from machine quilting on the back. How could I throw away this piece created during a time of chaos and turmoil?

After all, the hearts on the back were complete - when I studied the stitching I couldn't even see the frayed edges on the front side. All I saw was the visual purity of a healthy heart weaving all over the underside of this artwork made when I was heartsick!

The quilt suggested a metaphor for rough patches of life with the ragged pieces on the front and the transformed hearts on the back. Hearts are frequently broken into pieces, frayed and word for various reasons. In time, with prayer, those same hearts experience God's healing and restoration.


1. What is on your mind that breaks your heart, personally, for a friend, for our nation?

2. Draw a picture of a heart and divide it into as many pieces as you want.

3. Bring to God your concerns, holding each piece of the heart praying: "Put my heart in your hand, God. Bring warmth, insight, discernment, wisdom or any other thought or tiny piece of love that can help me come together.

4. Make this time of prayer and holding happen over a few days, weeks or even months, knowing that restoration can take time.

5. When you are ready to piece your heart together, get glue, and paper. Put the pieces as close together as you can - realizing that the new form may look different, but is beautiful.

6. Thank God for the healing taking place and for the freedom that comes from being open to transformation.

For your Reflection:

1. How did dividing your paper heart begin to represent the fractures and fissures of your pain?

2. What feelings surfaced as you worked through each step from beginning to end?

3. Write a short prayer to thank God for holding your heart and bringing change.

Prayer: God, thank you for allowing us to express creatively what we feel inside and how we image our heart to appear when we have distress. We can feel emotions from experiences that indeed wound us. In your rest and through prayer, our hearts can be fused together and we can walk in new life. Amen.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for walking us through the creative idea of cutting up the heart. I would never have come up with an idea like that myself, but your explanation makes it appealing. I think this would be productive to sort through some hard things and process pain.