Sometimes it’s as if my heart is at the periphery of myself rather than at the centre. Stuff, things, demands, expectations, commitments – my ‘doings’ push it out and it’s as if I need to listen to my heart from the edge of me. It’s muffled, unclear and I have to strain to hear clearly. Maybe that sounds weird to you, but my sense is that for some of you that just made too much sense.
Just now when I ask myself this question the first thing I must do is draw my heart right back to where it belongs to the centre of me. Through the cacophony of noise and clanging against the stuff that pushed it out, right back to the centre of me. I breathe in deeply, my shoulders relax and I feel at ease.
On a ‘normal’ day it’s a simple process of pause, breathe, relax and listen. Just like today, it’s quite simple it’s an easy tug inward like a balloon on a string. But there have been periods of my life where it has felt like my heart has orbited around me for a long time before I managed to land it back into its station. Like a spaceship that’s losing signal and ground control are struggling to bring it back to earth. I remember sharply periods of grief, periods of depression, periods of ridiculous over scheduling and interruptions and periods of simple self-neglect.
Just now pause for a moment, where is your heart? Locate it. We can hear it more clearly when it’s back in its place.
And only now listen. What’s stirring in your heart?
Today, Valentine’s Day, I’m aware of loneliness around me. People isolated through illness. People who have chosen to back off community through preference, hurt or disappointments and that has worked for them, for a while. But now they find themselves on the outside looking in, feeling disconnected, becoming cynical and increasingly anxious that they’ve forgotten the way back in.
We were created by a triune God, whose very self is a three being person. Fully three, fully one. Community is at the very heart of God Himself and as image bearers we are created for community. That gnawing, aching loneliness is not what our souls were created for. It feels wrong because it is wrong. The Lover of our souls made us to be His friend and to be friends of others. Deep soul friends ‘Mo Anam Cara’. The enemy of our souls number one strategy is to isolate us and then he attacks.
My heart is stirred for the lonely in their marriages, experiencing heartbreak in a relationship where they feel misunderstood, betrayed and deeply unknown.
My heart is stirred for those longing to find a life partner, feeling like they are waiting for their life to begin – I gently but firmly say, “fully live your life now in your beautiful singleness. Hold nothing back. Don’t wait, we get this one and only life!”
My heart is stirred today for those in the golden age of their lives. Whose bodies are not as strong, whose stamina is fading and whose minds are more fragile. Who already feel the creep of loneliness and isolation and are fearing they will be completely engulfed and lost in it.
My heart is stirred today for those battling mental illness, alone, scared and shamed by our society’s failure to care deeply enough.
When my heart is stirred, my default is to problem solve and fix. I’m learning however to sit in the tension and allow my friend the Holy Spirit to percolate these stirrings with His compassion, wisdom and love. Often He brings people, conversations and solutions into my path when I make myself sit in it. It all starts with heart. Always.
So back to my question. What’s stirring in your heart today? It’s not a rhetorical question I’d love nothing more than to hear from you. Comment below, direct message. Like. Share. Discuss.