It didn’t take long to receive responses to the piece I wrote about Katie Grace’s boyfriend, Declan, and the deeper meaning of what love really is. The following email from Summer Orr in Sevierville quickly followed the story:
Immi let out a big breath before she even got both feet in the car the other day and said “Guess What?! Mikey has a crush on me!”
Me - tell me all about it! How did you find out?
Immi - He told Reese and she told me.
Me - what did you do?
Immi - I walked up to him and said, “Hey - Reese said you have a crush on me - do you?” And he said he did! But he doesn’t want to date me until we are in high school.
Me - smart boy
Love hearing about your second grader!
Summer Smith was a BFF of K.G.’s mom, Shannon, and Aunt Stacia in college, long before the two second graders, Immi and K.G., were born, before Summer became Mrs. Paul Orr, even before Sammie and I had thoughts of being Nahnee and Papa to our stinking cute grandkids.
The next response was from Kathryn Grace herself.
“Papa! You shouldn’t have told people about me and Declan. That’s private!”
Of course her mom was on the phone, dying laughing. It was obvious that I was in big trouble with K.G., but not her mom.
“Your mom doesn’t seem upset,” I pleaded.
“No! She’s not! But I’m gonna tell my teacher on you tomorrow. Then you’ll be in trouble.”
Next time we talked, I asked what the teacher said, but by then the drama had reached a different level.
“Declan broke up with me.”
Sammie and I, on speaker phone, were both very sympathetic. We told her how sorry we were to hear such sad news and asked her what happened.
“He got a new girlfriend. Someone in his class.”
We could hear Shannon, in the background, consoling her, telling her that maybe the girl in his class was more convenient. Katie Grace was so disappointed. In her tone, we could hear her little heart breaking. And, when we asked, she admitted that, indeed, her heart was crushed.
Have you ever been disappointed? Has your heart ever been broken? Probably before you learned to read words like these, you experienced emotional pain. In all my years, of all the people I have met, I am convinced that every person has - to some degree - suffered the dismay of having someone or something that failed to fulfill their hopes or dreams - and it broke their heart.
Our disillusionment may or may not have been caused by a miffed relationship, but, truth be told, real heartbreak doesn’t just heal itself. It takes someone else to bring that kind of healing. It takes more than someone saying, “Bless your heart!” - although that does help. In the end, only God can bring satisfying comfort to the soul in distress.
In Psalm 34:18 we read, “The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
But He’s not just with us, He does something. The Psalmist also penned these words, “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”
Only Jesus can fix a broken heart.
P.S. If you ever talk to Katie Grace, please don’t tell her I wrote this, or I’ll really be in hot water!
Steve Playl, a retired pastor, chaplain, columnist, and college instructor, may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org