The Scripture ~As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart. Proverbs 27:19
The Spiritual Focus ~ “Throughout life people will make you mad, disrespect you and treat you bad. Let God deal with the things they do, because hate in your heart will consume you too.”
Will Smith, U. S. American actor and rapper
Breath Prayer ~ Inhale ~ Let my life, Exhale ~ Reflect love
The Devotion ~ Valentine’s Day is a holiday that, for some, is simply a modern invention of the Hallmark Card company. Others use Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to truly express their love. This week we see red hearts everywhere—candy, cards and emojis—all intended to communicate love. The stories behind how the heart became a symbol for love are varied but most agree the connection is that the heart sustains life and so does love.
One thing we do when checking for life in our physical body is take our pulse. It is easy: place two fingers on the wrist or neck, feel and count the beats, and we have information about how our body is doing.
Checking our spiritual pulse is different. To check our spiritual pulse, we consider those obstacles in our faith journey that harden our hearts toward each other. The bible has a lot to say about a hardened heart; most poignantly that a hardened heart leads to a lonely life, a life without love.
A recent episode of The Liturgist explored the topic of loneliness. One of the podcast hosts stated that within 1-2 minutes of meeting someone, we decide if we are going to like them or not based on whether we perceive them to be like us. If we decide we don’t like them, it takes intentional effort and experience to change our opinion and to open our “hardened” heart. If we can open our minds and hearts to the “other,” we find commonality. We begin by understanding we are all human beings. Consider this: when two different heart cells with their own individual beat are placed in the same petri dish, each one ceases their own beat and together they establish a third, new beat. Imagine that we could do similarly by putting intentional effort and experience into opening and softening our hearts to remove obstacles in some of our own relationships.
Our spiritual practice this week is to pause whenever we see a heart as a symbol of love and identify someone or a situation where we have hardened our heart. Check your spiritual pulse. Determine if your position serves you, if your life reflects your true heart. Let God handle the things that separate you and live a life that reflects a life of love.