I have a collection of hearts – stone, wire, cloth, metal. I have hearts that have been made by hand and some that are found. I have hearts that are smooth and some that are rough. Hearts are one of my symbols of faith because love is my center.

As I sit before my little altar with these hearts – a stone heart found in New Mexico, a rusty wire one from South Africa, carved hearts from different types of stone – I think of, and pray about, all of the heartbreak in the world. I remember those who are close by struggling with illness, pain, loss, loneliness. I remember those who are farther away, on the border, in detention, working to make changes, standing up for justice.

This week I pray for the General Conference of the UMC. My heart breaks because one more time there will be conversations about my LGBTQ siblings in Christ that will include hatred and meanness. I know this because it happens every time there is conversation or a vote within our denomination. I realize that I have been holding my breath as I wait to hear what happens over this next week. This is my family, the denomination I was raised in and that I love, but I cannot stay if we will not treat people with love and respect. So, my heart is broken and yet I hold on to hope.

I believe in a God who does not leave us broken hearted, who does not leave us with dead ends. I trust in a Spirit that moves where it will and breathes new life into dry bones. I believe in Jesus who walks beside us and calls each of us beloved.

I sit before my altar looking at the collection of hearts holding on to love.