Author and educator Parker Palmer said in a pamphlet on "The Politics of the Brokenhearted," "The holiest thing we have to offer the world is a broken-open heart, emptied of fear and vengeance, filled with forgiveness and a willingness to take the risks of love."
There's a difference between a broken heart and a broken-open heart, although a broken-open heart sometimes occurs because of a broken heart. Broken open implies a change from a heart that was closed to one that's open. And really, doesn't the quote say it all? A closed heart is often that way because of fear. An open one is filled with love, compassion and forgiveness. And an open one is willing to take risks for love.
And the world so desperately needs more open hearts. It always has. But perhaps never more than now. And it needs hearts that are emptied of vengeance and hate—hearts that take risks for love.
To have a heart broken open, we need to be vulnerable. We need to let situations and other people touch us—and we need to open ourselves up to others, to listen to them, to try understand their reality. What a difference that would make in the world. And in our lives.
I'd love to hear what you think about what Palmer said.