Wasteland Kings

All of us know the pain of a broken heart. While many of us think of our first crush or dating relationship when we read that first sentence, our first broken heart comes well before we meet that first special someone. We come into this world with a broken heart because our heart misses God.

In order to prove my point, we’ll have to take a step back and look at some of the great stories of our time.

Recently I saw the new movie Guardians of the Galaxy and I loved it. Well, besides the fact that the main character is a womanizer, I loved almost every second of the movie. I’ve also noticed that most of my friends really enjoyed the movie and it’s received a great reception from critics and moviegoers.

What sticks out as the main attraction for this movie, and why so many people enjoyed it, is the characters. Each one of the characters displays internal weaknesses and struggles. These weaknesses make the characters very compelling and incredibly easy to connect with.

This is a very important point because it sheds light on the truth that the one quality we all share is weakness. A character who displays a weakness is much more compelling and easier to connect with because all of us know what it’s like to feel weak. We all know what it feels like to be weak because we came into this world with a broken heart.

We come into this fallen world separated from God and that separation breaks our heart. Our hearts were made for a consistent relationship with God and we don’t get that when we come into this world. In the same way that our bodies break down without food and water, our hearts break down without unconditional love from God.

We all know what it feels like to be broken and afraid because it’s an inherent part of the human condition. That’s why we connect so well with the characters like Tony Stark from Iron Man and Peter Quill from Guardians of the Galaxy while we struggle to connect with all-powerful characters like the main character from the recent movie Lucy. We know a great deal about feeling weak and very little about feeling strong.

Guardians starts with a scene from the main character’s youth in which he loses his mother to cancer. I made a strong and hard connection because I lost my mother to Alzheimer’s a few years back. What’s really incredible about that scene is that I know many people who had never lost a parent felt connected to that character as well.

That connection came from the fact that all of us know what it’s like to feel the pain of a broken heart.

Brandon Sanderson is one of my favorite fiction authors and one of his fundamental rules for writing states that limitations are more interesting than powers. We connect so easily with a boy who feels powerless because he can’t bring his mother back because we really know what it’s like to feel powerless. We all have the yearning and desire for something to fix our broken hearts and yet we are powerless to do so.

In the past, I tried many different pleasures and distractions in the hopes of fixing my broken heart and nothing worked. They just left me feeling more broken and afraid. No matter what I did, I couldn’t turn my despair into joy.

My life didn’t turn around until I admitted that I couldn’t do anything about my broken heart and that I needed God’s help. Humbling myself and admitting that I am powerless to fix my problems is what started my deliverance from a broken heart. While I won’t know what it’s like to a have a truly whole heart until I get to Heaven, the healing I have already received is priceless to me.

Falling into the arms of Christ didn’t make me forget the feeling of powerlessness or immediately solve all my problems though. That feeling is still a part of my life and I continue to deal with a variety of struggles on a daily basis. If anything I know that feeling better than ever because I face it head on more often instead of ignoring it.

In facing my powerlessness, I have learned the important truth that the fate of my heart doesn’t have to rely on my power or strength. God has gone out of His way to give me all the help that I will ever need. He sent His Son to bind up my broken heart and bridge the gap that sits between God and I.

I don’t have to continue laboring under the curse of my powerlessness. My broken heart is not the end of the story.

When I watch a great movie with great characters like the first Avengers and Captain America 2, I really enjoy the sense of triumph that comes from the good guys winning the day. The really cool part of my relationship with God is that He won the day for me and then PERSONALLY INVITED me into that triumph. This is kind of like an Olympian getting off the podium so they can lift a disabled person up onto the stage.

That is the invitation of Christ every single morning and that is what makes my heart sing with joy. I don’t have to just enjoy the triumph of a movie’s good ending; I can take part in the greatest triumph of all time. All of us have been invited into that victory and triumph and we must simply accept it.

That’s pretty good news.

Image Copyright: Public Domain

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Matthew Rial