After having lived awhile on this planet, I know what can happen to a person. You start out as a youngster full of excitement and enthusiasm for the future. You have big dreams and you are going to be somebody! You are young and you are invincible. Your heart is open and receptive and eager to learn (Ever wonder why college is full of young people?). Then something happens to you. Life! You suffer a disappointment or two or three. You might have a heartbreak, not get into the school you wanted or get injured while playing the sport you love. Maybe you were in a bad car accident. Perhaps you became ill with no remedy in sight. Maybe someone stole your big TV (your only cool thing) from your apartment. Your invincibility suddenly became not so invincible and thus it went from there. Slowly, but surely, you begin to lose your innocence. Distraught and defeated you start trying to protect your heart. After all, you trusted those people… You loved that girl… You thought God would heal you… You almost died in that car wreck… In your desperation and self defense, you began putting bricks up around your heart. “No-one is going to make me hurt like that again!” Your learning went from eager anticipation to fear and mistrust concerning the future. It seemed reasonable to conclude that the world was out to get you and, by God, you were not going to let it happen (again). I mean really, if my heart isn’t exposed, then it can’t be hurt (again), right?
That, my friends, is the collective definition of our world. A bunch of people who have been hurt, wounded, stolen from, abused, mistreated and severely damaged. You can spot them everywhere. They rarely smile. They need five drinks to tell you they love you. They rarely show any emotion. They don’t tell you what they really think and refuse to ever go beyond the surface of things. They are on multiple medications; drink themselves silly and consider Facebook a platform to repeat in a multiplicity of forms just how much this life sucks! They trust no-one; like no-one and believe no-one. I’m often amazed while sincerely trying to help people, how hard they resist showing me their real heart. It’s like their heart is a closed fist. At first, they show a quick flash of an open hand. Then as they began to trust me a little, they leave it open a little while longer. Eventually, if I don’t overstep my bounds, they open it completely and leave it open. Then the real heart sharing begins; mine to theirs and theirs to mine and then the beauty and God-inspired deliverance that follows.
Knowing this, I never judge or condemn people because I understand. I understand that their hearts are hurting and thus far in life they have not experienced any incentive to re-open their hearts. I recognize that they are wounded and puzzled by things and need a fresh start. I have compassion for them because I too have spent more than my share of days with that same hardened heart. But as long as God exists (which is forever) there is hope. No heart has become so hard and calloused that it cannot be made tender again. And just like a callous on your hand, a calloused heart is no longer capable of feeling. It’s no wonder there’s no emotion; no smile; no joy. A hard heart is shut off from the goodness that is this life and closed off to the God that made it to be enjoyed. So, in our moment of honesty, we ask, what can I do to make it tender again? How can I get back my enthusiasm; my joy; my excitement for life? The answer is simple ~ love!
Love is the great, heat seeking missile that will track down all that is wrong and frustrated and defeated. Love is the awesome error ‘dismantler’ that will help you tear down every fence; every wall; every fortress you have mistakenly built up around your heart. Love is the answer to everything that ever hurt you and the healer of every pain. Love is the fantastic energy behind your heartfelt believing and will ever give you a new beginning. Love is the light that guides you and helps you safely navigate through the darkness. Love will make your heart so tender that you can feel the gentle, tender urgings from your heavenly Father and hear His still, small voice. Love is God and God is love!
In life, all that you have; all that you experience; all that you are, is based upon what you believe in your heart. Believing comes from your heart. When you were a child you believed from your heart. You trusted people and were open to learn and receive and to grow. You were excited and “oh-so’ optimistic because your heart was wide open to life. When I tell my Grandson Braylon that God always loves Him no matter if he’s naughty or nice, he believes me. And, Braylon is a happy, happy child! (God bless him!) So today, in order for your enthusiasm; your happiness; your joy to return, you have to get back to your tender heart. Let God show you what’s wrong. Trust Him to heal up your wounds. Let the hurts from the past, go, forever! Resolve yourself to be merciful; to treat people with kindness and compassion. See beyond people’s hardened exteriors and realize their heart is just like yours. Be the help; the solution; the answer for people. Be the person God called you to be!
This ol’ world is full of pain and suffering. Get your heart fixed up so you can help someone else. That’s not selfish, that’s heavenly. Take down those shackles you put up for self-preservation and let people see the real you. The real you is wonderful! Be who you are without the mask. Let folks see your vulnerability; your tenderness; your love. In so doing, your life will blossom like the lilies and will continue to do so, year after year, after year!
Life is short, my friends. You need your heart to be healthy so that you can receive the fullness of what this life has to offer. Love like there’s no tomorrow!
I love you…for real!