Last month (Hamle) did not bring good news to Ethiopia in particular and as always to the world in general. Related to the Sidama referendum issue, by now over 54 people have died, most of them young. Just prior to the 11/11/11 incident, in my culture study session, I spent a week studying the history, culture and influence of the Sidama people. It broke me to learn the news of the uprising and the death toll.

This is just one of the news. In other news last Saturday in U.S a gunman killed 26 people. This time the killer was a 21 years old young man. As I write this there is this news circulating in Ethiopia which reads: Two Federal Police died in an incident that involved a minor conflict in the Capital.

Such news breaks my heart and forces me to look deep into the world. I am led to ask what happened to us, humans. What have we become? Doesn’t such news break your heart too?

In light of the darkness surrounding us, I try to see Jesus imagining how the prince of love would react to such incidents in the world. I know Jesus is love. I have preached his love and death on the cross as a sign for ultimate love for the fallen human race. Whenever love is brought into the topic of discussion one cannot exempt Jesus. How on earth or heaven then the most loving person would react to the evils in the world?

Taking the issue a little deeper, I understand evil should not be limited to the Medias. In some sense we all are evil doers. Both the writer and the readers are evil doers. We despise God’s laws. We violate his standards on daily basis. Even those of us who believe have been saved, are not identified as “saved” people by our neighbors. Our evil desires control us to the extent we disobey the author and sustainer of life. Yes, we the Billion Christians in the world are in some sense failures. This is not a hasty generalization. This is an honest admitting. We are losers. We are called believers. We are called Christians. However, we have misrepresented Christ in this world. The worst part is that we do it all daily.

The question, however, is how the savior reacts to our failure. How would he react to the evils in his children in addition to the evils in the media?

The Failed Lover

Seeing the terror in the world, my restless mind jumps to ask if Jesus is really an effective lover. Effective lovers win the hearts of their loved ones. What if Jesus is a failed lover? I mean really, what if his death on the cross was just a waste? Look at the world, the mess, and our sins. Look the growing influence of anti-Jesus and hatred attitude in the world. Look at the racism in the world. Where is the influence of Christ’s death?

Look at the news, the war between brothers. Look at what happened in Sidama last month. The nominal evangelicals burnt down four Orthodox Churches. Wouldn’t you wonder what for Christ died? I feel Jesus is just another failed lover.

Take a look at the Church that was supposed to represent Christ. Look at the division in the Church. Look at the mess, the crisis in our moral life. How is Christ’s life measured?

See my life? When I see my mistakes and my sins, it breaks me and moreover, it fails Jesus. I couldn’t love him enough, he couldn’t be glorified enough. I’m broken and Jesus has failed. His sacrificial love couldn’t produce the kind of person he died expecting I would turn out to be.

All the broken creatures point to the failed savior who couldn’t convince his creatures to live and to act in love. He is not an effective lover. Jesus’ love is failure. At least this should be how we ought to think.

The Broken Me

While I feel Jesus is a failed lover, I am the broken one. My essential nature is deprived of truth and love. I was born with sin. I lived with imperfections.

Jesus, however, was a moralist, an ethicist and a perfect standard for love and truth. He lived for the ultimate truth preaching the ultimate form of love. He lived up to it. He died for it. He did it knowing I wouldn’t ever be perfect enough to imitate him whilst in this broken world. Why? I am broken.

I have lost so many battles. I have conceded so many points in this life. I accepted his standards only to see me failing every hour. I live in the world of wish. All because of this: I am broken.

 

A Broken Love

It was the famous American singer Linda Ronstadt who said, “Love ain’t nothing but heartache, hits you when you’re down.” I never agreed with this definition until three years ago where my philosophical ground was shaken with a single lecture on the very nature of divine love. During the moments of grief over my sin and the world’s and when I feel Jesus has failed, I am reminded that love is by nature heartache.

Love is broken. In this broken universe, not just us, the moral creatures, but love is also broken. The very language of the heart is broken to the extent that we cannot fully grasp the concept of love in the broken universe. A simple stay in the discourse of love could enlighten us the mess our vocabulary is in trying to define love. Not just our active love for God but our understanding of his love is also broken.

In obvious manner we admit that we never loved God. We are broken. However, we also fail to admit that we didn’t understand God’s love yet. Here is where love broke.

 

The Failed me but the Broken Jesus

Obsessed with the brokenness of the creation, we tend to forget that we are also failures. The evils are all testimonies of our failure. What happened in Sidama or the sins in our individual lives are the signs that we are not only broken but we are at best failures. Neither we can communicate love to each other or understand the love of God.

Jesus never failed to communicate his love for us. God never failed to proclaim his love for us through the death of his Son. We failed to understand. It’s not that Jesus failed as a lover. It’s we have failed to understand his love as his loved ones.

I’ve tried many times to communicate my love to my loved one and I haven’t got the response I expected. I have said, “I love you” many time to which I got no response. Does it make me a failure? Could well be. I said maybe because I live in a broken universe where love is at best broken with failed vocabulary and grammar. What makes Christ’s love different is his love is unbroken and communicated perfectly. His love has no communication errors like mine does.

Jesus’ communication may be perfect and Jesus’ love is also perfect. However, Christ is, I think, hurt by our failure to love him back.

 

Broken-Heart Syndrome

In 1911 Japanese scientist Dr. Sato discovered a new pattern for heart failure, and named it as “broken-heart syndrome”. Its scientific name is Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy. According to recent developments people experience this disease when they are in stressful situation. The stressful environment is usually caused by betrayal by their beloveds or unexpected broken promises; hence the name broken-heart syndrome. The unfortunate news is Broken-Heart syndrome can be fatal with in few hours.

Jesus, by all necessary measures, would fill the first place to suffer Broken-heart syndrome. How many betrayals, how many denials and how many broken promises does Jesus experience per day? Jesus would die million times a day of broken-heart syndrome. I wish I could see the bleeding heart of Christ with broken promises and covenants. The nails and the torture of the Romans didn’t break him more than the promises I break and the covenant I forget to keep.

Our sins doesn’t fail Jesus, they broke him. When he sees the evils in the world happening at this finest hour, he would break again and again. The same Jesus who identified with the persecuted saying, “Why do you persecute me, Saul?” also identifies with all the broken hearts all around the world, “Why do you break me, my people?”

Even though we are failures at best, we are neither doomed to it nor we are in lack of to respond to the perfectly communicated love of God. Yes, we are failures. However, God desires to hear the broken responses of his fallen creatures.

It was Bob Pierce, the founder of World Vision, who famously pleaded, “Whatever breaks God’s heart, let it break mine.” All the sins that grieved God, all the mess that broke his heart, also should break ours. We cannot live with pride, while our savior is walking broken. Let’s join him in the brokenness. Whatever breaks the heart of my savior shall break my heart.

Lastly, the perfect God also never undermined our broken vocabulary. He asked the fallen Peter, “Do you love me?” expecting a broken, “I love you, Lord”. He commanded his disciples “Love one another as I have loved you!” He knew our vocabulary is broken and yet he still commands us to share his broken heart with our lips, “I love you!”

Let love flourish everywhere in the lives of broken people!

 

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