Many people who meet me ask me about the wooden symbol I wear around my neck. It’s called a Heart Tau. It is a Franciscan Tau cross rooted in a heart, the symbol and habit of the Brothers and Sisters of Charity, of which I am a part. Part of my Heart Tau broke off last year. I couldn’t find the missing piece. I immediately determined it was not fit to be worn and needed a replacement. A monastic brother in the community gave me his, but the monastic heart tau is almost twice the size of the domestic habits (I’m domestic). It was too big and bold for my taste (much like monastic life is for me), so I mailed it back with a thank you note. I have not worn a Heart Tau since. The broken Heart Tau has been sitting on my dresser top, that is, until this past Saturday.
My wife replaced our night stands. Mine had some of my old journals beginning with my freshman year in college and onward. I was paging through them while organizing my new stand this past Saturday. Many of my entries revolved around my self-loathing: what and where I believed I wasn’t and what and where I thought I should be. I’ve been progressing out of these negative attitudes as I’ve grown in my understanding of God and Love. As I reflected on my entries last Saturday, I had a sudden urge to significantly break my habit of negativity and my mind was drawn to another habit, my Heart Tau. I decided to wear it close to my heart, broken an incomplete, just as God holds me close to his heart. I don’t think I’ll replace it for now. If I do, I think I might fashion a new one when I get the materials, tools and know how I need. I’ll probably need to ask for help with the process.
Today, a young person getting ready for college said about themselves, “I’m just not good enough.” It drew me back the head space of 18-year-old Greg reflected in my journals: my “if I’m not everything, I’m nothing” attitude. If you’re in that space right now. I want you to know that you might be somewhat incomplete, but you are not without purpose. You just need some time to find the materials, tools and know-how to fashion your dream. You’ll probably need to ask for some help with the process. In the meantime, be content with who you are resting next to the heart of God.