For decades, after losing my mother when I was five years old, it seemed I hunted for love and acceptance. That loss unearthed my place in the world, leaving me to hover above ground through adulthood. It’s also the earliest remembrance I have of wanting to know why someone else had something I didn’t. I posed the question: why did my schoolmates, cousins, kids around the block – – have a mother and I didn’t, almost every day, for years.
The feeling of being deprived took root in my heart early, sprouting jealousy and envy, soon after. I couldn’t be happy or excited for anyone else’s (especially other women’s) good news, success or celebrations, because of the jealousy flourishing in my heart. I could not bring myself to tell others congratulations, send words of support, or attend events that celebrated their achievements. And all the while, I had no inkling that THAT was not OK.
A heart and soul can, and often is, changed in an instant. One life event or inexplicable happening, can cover, cement or obscure a heart. And out of an unwholesome heart, springs callousness and insensitivities reflected and directed onto anything the eyes look upon. Many teens, young adults, and women, are living with tinged hearts, but like most maladies, cannot be self-diagnosed, though the symptoms are obvious. Jealousy. Low self-esteem. The inability to celebrate another person’s achievements. Envy. Belittling talk. Gossip. Comparison. Lack of personal motivation. Hatred.
“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it,” then, is what The Lord, our God tells us. Protect the health of your heart with everything you have. Your speech, motives, thoughts, and how you see others, depend on it. An unhealthy heart, though, should not be protected, but healed, and there’s only one prescription to soften a pebbled heart: ” ‘Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.’” Ezekiel 36:26. It must be replaced by The Spirit of God, through Jesus Christ.
Today, you will see many signs of broken, stony, and tattered hearts in those who perhaps have not had their hearts changed and so may have no inkling whatsoever that the hardness they direct towards themselves and others, is not OK. That’s where you, if you have a heart of flesh, come in. Show someone you encounter some brotherly or sisterly kindness. Leave them with a bit of wisdom. Let them know their Maker loves them. Give them reason to pause at how you respond at the overt symptoms of their heart condition . Don’t do the expected – be shocked at or look down up their rough-around-the-edges-ness.
See them, look at them, listen to them, be kind to them, pray for their emotional, physical, mental and spiritual healing, in The Name of Jesus.