Not the heart. “Not the Heart!”
There is an interesting sentence in The Message’ book of Mark 6. It had been a day of miracles. Jesus had turned five loaves and two fish into enough food that fed five-thousand people, and with leftovers.
The disciples were sent across the lake on a boat, the people were sent home, Jesus took some time to pray. Up on the lake came a storm. And there came Jesus, walking toward them on the water.
Obviously the disciples were terrified as Jesus came closer to them, and yet once close enough he assured them of who he was and not to be afraid. And then he climbed into the boat, which immediately brought the storm to an end.
And here is where we read, ‘They were stunned, shaking their heads wondering what was going on. They didn’t understand what he had done at supper. None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.”
Did you read that? ‘None of this had yet penetrated their hearts.”
Isn’t that the way.
We can have miracles all around us. There can be God in our midst. The uncountable come to stay, and yet we don’t let it penetrate. We don’t get it.
When I think back over my years, that stone wall of my heart, that was bondage for me.
It was a wall thick with judgments about the way life is to go. Laden through with self-righteousness, it was like a mesh of re-bar and concrete. And into that mix, was a stance of defensiveness against vulnerability; an inability to have anything ‘touch’ me.
Thing is, we can either spend our energies opposing God, opposing miracles, opposing health and healing, or we can use our energies to allow vulnerability; to drop our guard and to stop managing by ourselves.
But of course, this is a huge risk. For starters, we will never be the same. For miracles of heart and soul, life and limb, have nothing of control in them whatsoever.
So if we want control, I guess we do without the miraculous.
Surrender is key.
We might rather have our hunger. We enjoy rather, our drama and illness and disease. We like our self-righteous stances of less-than and poor-me. After all, what would we talk about, if not for our troubles?
We say we want the fixes, we say we want things to go better, we say we want health and healing, but our hearts are stoney, cold and indifferent.
We refuse to be comforted, we hold tight our paradigms of ‘this is a bad cold world’, and… we get what we expect.
It’s as though we want the miracles, but we don’t want to be changed. Just like the disciples amazing things can be happening all around us, but we’ve hearts and eyes that cannot comprehend.
Let it go. Allow the living God to penetrate. We must put down our best thoughts and our own understandings, put down our drama and our self-pity, put down, on the table, our stony hearts.
Where we demand justice, to allow grace.
Where we hold tight to death, to allow life.
Where we must be right, to allow uncertainty.
Where we condemn, to allow new paradigms.
Our hearts will be changed. The things we once held to so tightly will fade away. We won’t understand much, but we will be free, healthy, and whole.
How might we allow the Spirit to touch our hearts today?