I heard of a church sign mistake in which the church’s outdoor message board read, “We love hurting people.” They meant to say “We love people who are hurting.” As 2020 nears its close, you do not have to look far to find people who are hurting.

While each calendar year is marked by disappointments, mishaps and sadness, 2020 has had more than its share of such. We see brokenness all around us in society. Fortunately, as Christians, we can choose to see brokenness as an opportunity.

What do I mean? Hance Dilbeck has said, “There are a lot of broken people in Oklahoma. Jesus teaches us to embrace brokenness as an opportunity for the Gospel.”

Dr. Dilbeck calls us to think about the Scriptures that say: “And the book of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. And He opened the book and found the place where it was written, ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed me to preach the Gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.’ And He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant and sat down; and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, ‘Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing’” (Luke 4:17-21).

Where the world saw people as enemies or “low-lifes,” Jesus saw people as lost, poor, captives, blind and oppressed. We need God to give us a perspective on other people like His Son has. Amid troubled times, Christians can and should become ambassadors of reconciliation, healing and peace.

Yet, perhaps it’s your own heart hurting today. What can fix that? Could a redo on this calendar year fix it? No. Can simply 2021 coming along fix that? Perhaps, but there are no guarantees.

In fact, the only guaranteed help for a broken heart is the love of God, which gives a “peace that passes all understanding” (Phil. 4:7). If you yourself are hurting, I would encourage you to find healing by becoming a comforter yourself.

Consider the words attributed to Francis of Assisi:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.

O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

Whether the aching heart you know of is someone else’s or your own, may God Himself minister to you and through you today and beyond. Lord, please help us…