"My heart bursts its banks, spilling beauty and goodness. I pour it out in a poem to the king, shaping the river into words."
Psalm 45:1 (MSG)
Something clicked when we stumbled upon this verse somewhere in May 2019. A vague picture formed in the midst of our imagination & continued developing in our daydreams: A heart so full that it blew up like a bomb
"FRONT TOWARD ENEMY" those words suddenly came to remembrance. Most people who have been in the military or have played certain first-person shooting games would be familiar. It is a phrase that's found in only one place, an explosive called a Claymore Mine.
The Claymore also has a unique rectangle shape and is propped up on a small stand. It's unlike the classic Minesweeper mine or circular disk-shaped ones we see in movies. So why did it mean anything to us?
THE CLAYMORE MINE
3 key things about the Claymore Mine:
1) FRONT TOWARD "ENEMY"
2) FRAGMENTS AND CRUMBS
3) AREA OF EFFECT
1) FRONT TOWARD "ENEMY"
The M18A1 Claymore is a directional anti-personnel mine named after a large medieval Scottish sword. The shape was developed to deliver the optimum distribution of fragments at 55 yard range. It has the words "FRONT TOWARD ENEMY" embossed on the front.
The phrase "FRONT TOWARD ENEMY" really resounded. It was as if a light shone through those words as we read them! As much as it is a phrase used for instruction to harm others, we felt like creating something that would inspire people to do the exact opposite.
"But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you..."
What if we could destroy all our enemies by turning them into friends? It would take a great big heart that was exploding and overflowing with God's goodness to do it. (Of course, it's easier said than done! We're not perfect!)
2) FRAGMENTS AND CRUMBS
We found two key features of the Claymore Mine reminding us of two significant gospel stories.
FRAGMENTS: The broken pieces that fly across the Area of Effect when the mine is activated. Like the 12 baskets full of FRAGMENTS picked up by Jesus' disciples after He multiplied the bread to feed the multitudes... May God supernaturally provide for you and multiply whatever little you have placed in His hands!
CRUMBS: Encased within each Claymore Mine lay many tiny steel ball bearings. We likened these tiny and multitudinous rounds to the crumbs that scatter from broken pieces of bread. Just like the faith within the Canaanite woman coming before The Lord with her need, receiving deliverance for her daughter by crying out: "Even the CRUMBS would do!" let it be so for you too! God is your ever present help in times of need, and even a tiny little crumb of faith is enough.
3) AREA OF EFFECT
We the came across the diagram of The Blast Zone. Also called the Area of Effect. This diagram tells us the range of a single Claymore Mine, showing how far and wide the effects of a blast can reach.
The more we looked at it the more we realised how similar it was to the sphere of influence that each heart has been designed to love. The three spheres being Family, Friends then Fans.
We hoped to accurately showcase just how much the Claymore Mine mirrored the purpose of a human heart with our parabolic art.
Although the M18 Claymore Mine is a weapon used to destroy enemies, we decided to flip the script. To us, The Exploding Heart is a "weapon" of mass communication. It is a "weapon" engraved with this message of compassion: Love. Your. Enemies.
SO WHAT'S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT THE HEART?
There once was a young lad named Solomon. He had great power, resource & responsibility bestowed upon him being crowned king in place of his late father. No matter how much stress we might have faced in our schools or places of work... few can relate to the pressure of inheriting an entire nation. With big shoes to fill and nobody to lean on... young king Solomon set his eyes toward the heavens, worshipping the best way he knew how. God showed up personally to him that night, granting him one personal request... here was his answer:
"Now, O Lord my God, You have made Your servant king instead of my father David, but I am a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in."
A successful cop from a really fire drop? A crazy promotion at work? Tens of thousand of followers on social media? None of these can compare with the flex this dude had as a newly crowned king. Yet Solomon did not come before God as king, but took his place as a child in need before The Heavenly Father. Prayerfully pouring out his weaknesses and inadequacies.
"Therefore give to Your servant an understanding heart to judge Your people, that I may discern between good and evil. For who is able to judge this great people of Yours?” The speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this thing.
What would you ask for, if you could have absolutely anything? Would you (like him) wish for a change of heart? Because this request so pleased The Lord that Solomon was blessed in every other part!
LARGENESS OF HEART LIKE A SEASHORE
"God gave Solomon very great wisdom and understanding, and knowledge as vast as the sands of the seashore."
Here's an additional nugget of secret code (found on the T-shirt tag). Many have been left wondering if this was a brick with some french fries, a camera without a lens or a piece of irregularly shaped candy... haha! This blue and yellow "brick" is actually likened to the largeness of heart like a seashore, contained within a Claymore Mine! Mystery solved. And now we wanna get some fries!
HOW CAN I GIVE WHAT I HAVE NOT RECEIVED?
"For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."
The truth is that some days it is difficult enough to love your family and friends.... how much more to love your enemies? Though we may never answer this question perfectly in our words, thoughts or deeds... if we truly seek to give it, we first gotta receive it.
Everyday we may forget, that's why everyday we will need reminders!
(That's also why we made this Tshirt!)
Ignited by an attitude of gratitude that took off like a dove, Cleansing Fire parched every faith filled-fragment from the freshly broken hearth.
It could not be contained!
Set apart within this Exploding Heart was an all encompassing love, The Good and Perfect Gift that could only come from above!
Don't settle for less, live life Superblessed!