Friday, January 28, 2011

Daily Office Reflection: Hardened Hearts

Psalms 40, 54 * 51; Isaiah 50:1-11; Galatians 3:15-22; Mark 6:47-56

Mark tells us today that the disciples did not understand either what happened with the loaves and the fishes, nor why the wind ceased on the sea upon Jesus entering their boat, because "their hearts were hardened." Isn't that condition, a rock hard heart, the cause of so much angst, agony and antipathy in our world? How do we defrost our hearts? To what (or to whom) is our heart hardened?

One of the messages we hear throughout Jesus' ministry is this concept, this emotion, this ideal, this amorphous thing termed love. But if our hearts are hardened, how do we love? How do love our neighbor? How do we love ourself if our heart is hardened?

There is no set way, no one method, no particular formula we can all follow to unthaw frozen hearts, whether our own or those whom we meet. Wouldn't life be simpler and more beautiful if there was? Here, take this pill, or do this exercise and your heart will be like mine and the world will be a better place! If wishing and praying would make it so.....

Yet, perhaps there are some simple steps, fairly easy things we can do to start that process of defrosting some hardened part of us that is preventing us from reaching our potential of being full members of the Body of Christ in the world today, of aiding in the creation of the kingdom, here and now.....Reaching out to an elderly neighbor, who sits alone a good portion of their life....Forgiving someone, really giving up a grudge we have against someone who wronged us....letting go of worry about tomorrow and concentrating on this moment....volunteering an hour of our time at a food bank, or homeless shelter, or a children's hospital, or a nursing home....calling a friend we haven't spoken to in a long time just to check in.... Anyone of these can start a healing process that feeds on itself. We gain as much, if not more, than the recipients of our acts.

Try one today, and another tomorrow. See if there is a start of a thaw......

Copyright 2011, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.

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