It caught me off guard. I was reading an article whose first half seemed to offer no warning for the rather explicit nature of the second half. It snuck up on me. I read a few sentences, realized it wasn't going to pass quickly, and chose not to read the rest of the story.
Later, in a wave of grief I could not have anticipated, I wept.
See, I have been reminded in a thousand ways lately that our culture, and humanity in general, has broken God's gift of sexuality to pieces. I know well that we serve a God who mends the broken places and can piece together that which has been shattered, but there are times when the brokenness seems too much, and I wonder if we have a fighting chance.
I have been thinking of the challenge faced by all the godly men I know, to fight against the lure of pornography and indecency in a culture that constantly waves it in front of their faces. Images and messages taunt them left and right, and my heart breaks for the battles they must fight. Women, as well, are bombarded with such images and with messages that destroy their sense of beauty. The fight to regain and maintain purity in my own thought life is an uphill battle every day. I have been thinking of children who will face a lifetime of sexual confusion because someone violated them, awakened them to things at far too young an age. I think of those who truly love Jesus, yet fight every day of their lives against the agonizing confusion and shame of a same-sex attraction. We all know that the list goes on, all the myriad ways in which men and women either give away or are robbed of the sacred.
Many times in my life, I have prayed that God would break my heart for the things that break his, and as I sat and wept yesterday, I sensed his answer. Not a call to abandon hope--he will always be a redeeming and restoring God. What looks like the impossible task of two already broken people being united, he will make into a beautiful possibility. In the journey toward men and women being able to live out godly masculinity and femininity, he will provide strength and perseverance.
But perhaps it is a good thing once in a while, when we are reminded of all that is broken, to weep along with the One who first created it to be whole.