The refrain used this morning for the psalm response in the lectionary readings is very poignant and comforting. Verse 19 says that God is close to the brokenhearted and Lynn Bauman’s commentary says that it is at the level of the heart (deeper than the intellect) that the psalmist speaks this prayer and gives this guidance. He titles this psalm “The Healer of Shattered Hearts” and his translation of the lectionary section provides beautiful images of this healing God who can be counted on to enfold us in the confidence that love brings. This one deserves to be read aloud – more than once.
Indeed God hears the voice of those who cry in pain, drawing near to them with tender, loving care. God comes so close to those who live with brokenness, to heal those with the deepest inner wounds. God is healer of our shattered hearts. Yes, it is true, the troubles that plague humanity are vast and deep. But it is God who frees us from them all. God guards our hearts, our core, our very bones, the inner frame of those who serve the good. And nothing there is ever truly broken or destroyed. (vs. 17-20)