Break Our Hearts of Stone

Break Our Hearts of Stone

It seems keeping the heart one of flesh, instead of being one of stone, is the continual work of a lifetime. Softening, rather than hardening, requires a strength and intentionality that doesn’t come naturally to me. In the wake of my defensiveness and desire for self-preservation, I repeatedly need to engage in the work of letting my heart be real. The simple act of believing in the goodness of others (and living in that truth) is one that requires me to be soft-hearted over and over again.

As I’ve gone into the prison, I have grown in seeing the goodness in people who have made many mistakes. Many of the men I interact with are easy to find goodness in because they are seeking the Lord, too. Their zeal for the Lord or their desire to love Him or find Him invites me to see how God is moving in their hearts. Others are a little more difficult since they make me feel uncomfortable or continually lie to me. But as a whole, I am able to look at men who have raped, murdered, and committed all sorts of crimes and proclaim their inherent goodness.

For whatever reason, we often look up what crimes the men are in for and how long of a sentence they received. At times, it helps to understand their position: are they in for life or a few years or simply back after breaking parole? We decided to look up one man I’ve talked with several times and see his crime. It was surprising because the kindness and gentleness I’ve experienced from him ran contrary to the crime he was sentenced to serve. Yet, despite the surprise, it didn’t really change how I felt toward him. The goodness and kindness I’ve experienced are real and he is far more than the crimes of his past.

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In His Hands

I pictured placing my little heart in His hands.  And He held it with a tenderness that could only come from Him.

There it was: small and without adornment.

It was devoid of all excuses or justifications.  Yet it was completely known, in a way that the potter knows every intricacy of the work of his hands.  Even with knowing all that was stored away within it, the little heart was completely loved.

That was true rest.

To be loved, but to know that it is without false impressions or because you have successfully hidden your flaws.  As a member of a family, I have experienced this love to a degree.  But to have your heart laid bare with all of the not-quaint details exposed is another matter.

When the world seems to be too much and I have difficulty taking it all in, I find comfort resting in His hands.  There I am known and there I am loved and those facts still astound me.  To be known to the core and loved to the core is what we all desire.  To know that it is without merit and yet entirely good to be received in such a way is another gift.  Nothing I did caused me to be loved like this, but I am.

For a little heart doing so much seeking, it is good to simply be found.