Broken Hearts, Cured Soul

Posted by on December 22, 2017 in Shirley's Blog | 4 comments

Church of the Nativity, Bethlehem




We went to a Festival of Lights last evening. The lights were beautifully placed on every tree and bush in the beautiful area called The Grotto. Once a rock quarry, a priest saw the potential in the wild and woodsy spot, found a way to purchase the land, develop it and since and almost 100 years later, is a place of peace and refuge. At the dedication in 1924, this was said:

Let this be a sanctuary of peace for all peoples of the earth and surely in this day a sanctuary is needed. Torn with differences, strife, and grief, the world needs sanctuary where the human spirit can seek peace and consolation.


Many people do come to enjoy the peaceful surroundings where in the winter there are beautiful lights belying the dark and rocky terrain. In the summer, it is a cool and quiet refuge to think and pray. People of all faiths or no faith come to this haven of peaceful surroundings.

A cave carved out of the rocks at the Grotto.



People seem to be more cheerful and giving this time of year.


As we strolled though the grounds last night, I reflected on this holiday season. Of the beautiful time of year whether people believe in Jesus or not seem to be more cheerful and giving than any other time of the year.


Traditions don’t work well when you’re the only one.


Jim and I work with those grieving the death of a loved one and every week we are reminded of the extreme sadness the envelopes one who has lost a spouse, a child, a sibling, a parent or grandparent, a friend. In the early days of grief, these happy holidays are like salt in a wound, music that sounds out of tune. Fortunately, if they work through their grief, they are able to sing again, and enjoy the happy times. I was reminded of what it feels like again to be alone. If you don’t know me, you may not know that I’ve had to say goodbye to two husbands in death, so I know what I’m talking about–this grief. A friend of mine who lives a very solitude life was widowed less than two years ago. They’d been married for fifty years. She said a few days ago, “This is kind of a hard time. Traditions don’t work so well when you’re the only one.” She’s right. I found something that helped me when I was in the depth of grief and alone. The presence of my Savior. He was my constant companion during those lonely days of eating dinner by myself. Going to bed by myself. Getting up in the morning by myself. An English 17th century poet and hymn writer, Philip Doddridge, said it well:


Hear the glad sound, the Savior comes, the Savior 

promised long!

Let every heart prepare a throne, and every voice a


He comes the broken heart to bind, the bleeding

soul to cure,

And with the treasures of his grace to raise the

humble poor. 



He comes the broken heart to bind, the bleeding soul to cure


So whether you’ve a broken heart and you need it to be “bound” or your soul needs “cure,”  give it to the healer of broken hearts–Jesus. We celebrate Jesus’ birth every Christmas, but do we really think about what that means? I wish I could say I always do, but this year I am. What a treasure we have.


There’s only One who can give peace.


It is my hope you have placed your trust in the only One who can give peace, Jesus, the Savior of the World. Wonderful Counselor. Almighty God, The Prince of Peace.  If you haven’t attended church in a long time–or ever, this Sunday might be the perfect time to start. Read the Christmas story. Start in Luke at the beginning where Mary is told she’s to be the mother of Jesus. Her reaction is amazing and beautiful.


Merry Christmas everyone. And though you may not feel like being merry because of great loss in your life, focus on the gift God gave. His only son.

At the Grotto.


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  1. Merry Christmas Shirley and Jim! I love the image of broken heart, cured soul. It honors the loss, that your heart was truly broken, and speaks to the truth that real healing, a cure, can come through the grace of God.

    • Thanks, Kathy. Great to hear from you. You sound like your heart is being repaired after losing your dear husband. God bless you and Merry Christmas!

  2. I appreciate your beautiful reflection on grief and healing. Thank you so much. I am recently widowed myself and am grateful for your thoughts.
    I must say, howeve, that I don’t share your sentiment that Jesus is the one and only source for healing broken hearts. As a grief counselor for about 30 years, I have witnessed bereaved people find solace and healing through a broad range of religious, spirituall, non-religious and non-spiritual sources. Personally, I have found tremendous spiritual support and comfort from a broad range of wisdom teachings and spiritual guides. I try hard to embrace the mystery and to learn from the many ways our brothers and sisters find meaning in their lives.

    • I didn’t say Jesus was the only source for healing broken hearts. You are right that there are a broad range of religious and non religious sources that help the broken heart. But I do believe Jesus is the true source of peace–that’s what I was saying.
      Thanks for commenting on my blog. I hope you find hope and solace from your loss.
      Best to you as you work through your grief.

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