“Once upon a time I was falling in love, now I’m only falling apart
There’s nothing I can do, a total eclipse of the heart”
I was driving this morning when these lyrics entered my conscious from the radio speakers. The reasons that Bonnie Tyler wrote these lyrics is not something I know, but I really know what it feels like to have a heart that is not exposed to the light. I had never thought of it before in terms of an eclipse, but this morning God chose to give me the picture.
In this world, we are surrounded by evil in many forms. Some of it is subtle and some completely “in your face”. We all succumb, and we all receive wounds. It is out of those wounds that we begin to build our walls of defense, walls that protect us from more wounding. Walls that are meant to seal us off from the hurt and evil of the world. Our goal becomes protection of the wound, the hurt, at all cost.
This wall, or elaborate fig leaf, as John Eldredge would say, also accomplishes a main goal of our enemy, Satan. Total eclipse of the heart. Our hearts are meant to bask in the light of God, but instead, we put up a barrier that blocks the light from our hearts. The unfortunate truth of the wall is that we end up locking in the darkness, instead of locking it out. The unfortunate truth of the fig leaf is that we end up with an eclipsed heart.
“Once upon a time there was light in my life, now there’s only love in the dark
Nothing I can say, a total eclipse of the heart”
The thing about eclipses is that it only takes movement of one object in the trio of players to allow light to be exposed again. One step from behind the wall, and light is there waiting for you. Everything else is too, there is no denying that. I have come to realize that life is lived only in the face of both God and evil. The light that shines on our hearts, also lives in it, if only we ask. It is the light, and only the light, that allows us to live well in the face of darkness.
I had a friend tell me not long ago that his reaction to difficulty was often to run away and hide. God gave him the strength to lean in instead. I have tried hiding in my life, but ultimately it was just love in the dark. I choose to lean in now, I choose to let the weight of who I am in God be felt by others. It is his strength, his light, that warms, heals, and strengthens my heart.
I will admit that the light burned when I stepped out. His light is all penetrating and all powerful. But His light is meant for good and not evil. The healing of wounds and scars can be painful, but the result is healing.
When I got to work today, this was the verse of the day in my devotional.
“All things become visible when they are exposed by the light.” EPHESIANS 5:13