The human heart is a resilient thing. It can withstand operations and transplants and can endure violent flutterings and poundings. But the most brilliant thing about a heart is its ability to survive after it has been broken and torn.
Today, a little piece of my heart was torn off and placed in the hands of small, bright-eyed Africans. They took it without knowing and as hard as I tried, I couldn’t seem to get it back. With every passing day, I see another portion of my heart handed out to someone new. With every hang-out, every dinner, every worship service more of my heart is gently placed in the palms of the beautiful people of Africa.
I thought I might have prevented it, this splitting of my heart. With every piece of love I passed out, I remembered that I didn’t have to. No one was twisting my arm or begging for my affection, but the smiles and the love that were given to me were such that they had to be returned.
I also know that this shredded heart of mine will hurt when the time comes for me to board the plane. When my back is turned to the sweet desert of Botswana the pain will be excruciating. But I can’t help loving; I can’t stop.
Though the joy of being reunited with the portions of my heart owned by my American family and friends will be sweet, I know that I shall never be the same while fractions of my most important organ beat in another part of the world.
This ache that I speak of, though painful, is not a bad thing. Like I said, it is a beautiful thing – the human heart. Though it is torn to pieces and divided among many, it is still beating and is somehow always able to give a little bit more. How unpleasant my trip should have been had I hoarded all of my love and kept it quietly to myself. Love was meant by its Creator to be shared. I have learned that the only way to experience true love is to freely give it away.