An Undivided Heart
What do you think of when you consider the phrase "an undivided heart?" We live in a world where we see and experience great beauty, goodness, and creativity. We see love, forgiveness, and redemption. But for all the good that finds its source in God, our world is also broken and fragmented by sin, and our hearts need healing.
An undivided heart is rooted in the healing presence of God in our lives. We are created for relationship with God so wholeness will be found in God. How do we continue to lean into God's redemptive work in our lives? Individually, but also beyond us as individuals: in the church, in culture, and in humanity? God knows our hearts... God will invite us to walk in the truth and to walk in God's way.
For you are great and do wondrous things; you alone are God. Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart to revere your name. I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:10-12 NRSV
One way to pay attention to our hearts is to observe the ways we engage with others that may be in tension, or in conflict, with the inner stirrings of our hearts. We have learned patterns for interacting in family systems and cultural systems that influence the things we project and, sometimes, shape the things we hide, attack, judge, or dismiss.
As we walk with Jesus we are invited to cooperate with the Spirit of God who prompts, teaches, and convicts is to engage truthfulness and integrity within our hearts. This begins as we pay attention to the uncomfortable, the angry, the awkward, the niggling emotions that surface, often at the most in-opportune times, in our relationships.
God is present in those day-to-day places, and we can ask God for insight and pay attention to God's prompting.
The other day I had one of those "niggling moments." I had shared a tender place in my life with someone who was not very close, but in the field that I work. The response I received back seemed trite. Quite frankly my feelings were hurt, and I do not particularly like to admit that. What would an undivided heart look like in that place?
I could have dismissed the response, and sometimes that might be the Spirit's invitation. But this time it felt dishonest, as though I would be sweeping the dust, and the dissonance, under the rug. So how could I have a forgiving, understanding heart while still being willing to engage the conversation and be appropriately transparent? There have been times in my life when I simply overlooked the hurt... wearing a mask that told others that everything was okay. This time I addressed the interaction. I shared my heart, while inviting connection. It became a good, sweet place of understanding. As Jesus followers we ar
e called to redemption, reconciliation, integrity, and healing, in small places and in big places.
Close relationships can be even harder to do this work, because the stakes are higher. So how can we come to more deeply understand the fractures within our own hearts, the places we are divided, and lean into the Spirit's invitation to healing and wholeness? This is a significant part of our journey of transformation. It requires truthfulness, self-awareness, courage and surrender, and a willingness to follow the Spirit's lead.
Chapter 10 of Encounter offers a prayer exercise that may be fruitful for you. And if you would like to engage the Scriptures and prayer in community around this theme consider joining us for a virtual retreat on Saturday, February 20th at 9am. There is a link for registration below.
Praying the Masquerade
February 20, 2021
Click on image to register