What do rocks and paper have to do with a heart for God?
#014 Blog: Paper Covers Rock
I read somewhere that if you ball your hand up into a fist it’s roughly the size and shape of your heart. And it doesn’t matter whether you’re small (a child, for example) or large; your fist size would be relative to the rest of your body and so too would your heart. If you ball up your hand into a fist you can mimic the pumping motion of your heart to carry the simulation a bit further. Now this comparison applies to your physical heart, the one inside your chest that pumps the blood out through your arteries and pulls it back and again through the veins. But what about your spiritual heart? Your emotional heart? Is that heart like a fist? Sometimes the answer is yes it is. At times when you feel afraid or angry your heart tends to clench into a fist. Other times this can happen like when you’re feeling lost or confused or unsure of yourself or conflicted; at such times your heart can involuntarily curl up into a fist. If you feel, in your mind, that you’ve been wronged or hurt some way, your heart can become “fist-like” indeed!
If we allow God, the Holy Ghost into our heart, She/He will change it and reshape it from a balled up fist into something that is relaxed and opened—an open hand. The spiritual heart in this configuration, like the open hand, becomes ready to receive a gift from outside itself, to give and reach out to others in an offering gesture of kindness or assistance. When the heart is configured in this openhanded manner the mind opens up along with it, enabling it to imagine new and creative ways to engage this openhanded heart! Sometimes this configuration of the heart has even been known to initiate a desire to offer up other parts of its own physical body to someone else in need; giving up a kidney or a lung in extreme cases. Ordinary, everyday examples of this kind of giving bring 1000s of people into plasma centers to give their own plasma or blood. Each of these persons possess this openhanded heart.
In America today we see stark examples of people with close-fisted spiritual hearts mingling among those with openhanded spiritual hearts. Which category of hearts are filled with God’s love? God is only ever looking to forgive and reconcile people to Him/Herself and to each other. I heard a handy piece of spiritual wisdom the other day from a Catholic nun (to be honest, it was an actress playing the role of a nun). She said that the best form of revenge is forgiveness! In this time of deep cultural divide within our country and in our world, it might be time to begin exacting this kind of “Godly” revenge upon our enemies. Some creative ways to exercise your openhanded heart…
- Cup it behind your ear to better hear what others are saying.
- Shade the sun from your eyes to help sharpen your longsighted perspective.
- Put it together with another openhanded heart to mime wings flapping, like a bird.
- Inspire yourself to wash your actual hands for 20 seconds. Repeat several times daily.
To answer the above question: Which category of hearts are filled with God’s love? Paper covers rock!