Liz Roberson



How Much Can One Heart Break?

*The following post was originally published a few years back after I had the notion to sit in my driveway and smash a potted plant to smithereens. The message took shape as the process went on. I took photos of each step, which are long gone, but the spirit of the message remains.
I hope you are blessed.

How much can one heart break?

Once upon a time, there was a plant in a pot. A potted plant.

At first glance, the pot looked to be intact. It mostly held the plant together. It kept other things off of the plant. It functioned. But if you looked closely you could see that the plant was quite dry. It had not been well cared for. Its refreshment had come from rainfall alone...but wasn't enough to sustain life.

One day, a man came along and found the potted plant. He instantly loved it, longed to restore life to its desolation. So He took it home.

He set it on a work table and took in its condition. Clearly this plant needed extra care.

Suddenly, in a seemingly unnecessary move, he swung...connected...and broke it open. The contents spilled away, on display for anyone who would look. But who would look?

The man was pleased. And with another blow, and another...and another...

Its original form could not even be recognized anymore. Where once it could hold and hoard; where once the plant was protected and the pot was polished on the it lay exposed. Broken. Vulnerable. Messy.

The man began pulling away the dead things from deep inside. A spider, having lost his home, scurried away. The man began again.

He is relentless now, not one piece escaping His eye. He smashes, He grinds. The shards are shattered until they resemble the dust that they came from. Ashes.

And then. He gently begins gathering them back together with His own hands. He adds water. He isn't afraid to get his hands dirty. He sinks them into the muck. The mess.

He shapes. He forms. He molds. He works through the night--through the night--because that is when artists (such as He) seem to find the most furious inspiration. Maybe it's in the very darkest of times that even the faintest flicker of light can be found the most glorious.

He smiles because His plan for this new creation is more beautiful than it could ever have been before, more useful than it could ever have hoped to be. It will no longer be a vessel for a dying prickly plant, but for a living fruit-bearing plant.

He lifts the new creation, admiring His work. He takes in its beauty as He takes it to be put into the fire. Into the fire?

Only a little while. Only just long enough to make it strong and steady and sure. Only long enough to make it radiant, just until you can see the sheen of the fire on its surface.

And then. He reaches in to retrieve it from the fire...

I hear you. I hear the question that you dare not allow past your lips. I hear.

He takes pleasure in the pain?


The Artist took pleasure in the potted plant, though nearly dead. He took pleasure in the process of bringing it back to its origin and then in the process of making it into something new--bringing it new life. He took pleasure in His purpose, in His plan. He took pleasure in the possibilities. In the thick of the story, in the middle of the pain--He took pleasure in what He knew HE would accomplish.

And as I looked at that pile of dust on my driveway, He spoke to me deep inside.

And He said:

I'm not interested in being King in your kingdom. In your kingdom, it's on your your rules...with your limited resources.

No...your kingdom must fall. It must be brought down to nothing.

I don't want to be King of your kingdom. I want to build MY kingdom right here.

Right here where you had other plans. Right here where it is broken and messy and painful. Right here where you were barely surviving before I came along. Right here where you thought things would turn out differently. Right here where that person left you. Right here where you never imagined it would turn out this way...

You tell me that you want Me to be Lord of your life. But the truth is that you have no life apart from Me. What you imagined was living before this was desolate and dreary and not anywhere near what I dreamed for you from the beginning of time.

I don't just want to be Lord of your life. I. MUST. BE. YOUR. LIFE.

So...How much can one heart break?


He isn't interested in rebuilding our kingdoms. He wants to shift the bedrock of our souls...break up the hard, packed earth...lay down a new rock solid foundation and build HIS kingdom right here out of the ashes of our own.

Oh, break our hearts for what breaks Yours, Lord.

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