Thursday, July 14, 2016
Hearts of Stone
A heart so calcified and covered by stone-like barnacles that even the most raging sins or need for mercy roll off like ice on a hot sidewalk. How did it get this way? Every time we don't take on empathy for malicious wrongs, or we let a small sin slip by another scale covers our beating hearts.
"The hardening of a tender heart almost always starts with justifiable action." This statement by Priscilla Shirer caught my eye this week. Especially with all that has been going on in our nation. Instead of listening to the cries of injustice, some try to minimize the plight. To excuse persecution and debate that it was deserved or somehow a product of their own doing, only disguises the sin. It allows us to brick up our empathy with self-righteous.
We pick and choose which sins we cannot tolerate. A man takes up an rapid fire rifle and doesn't see the LGBTQ people as humans. He sees targets. The rest of us cry. We pray. But we will not sell them a cake. Because we don't want to be complicit in their sin. What if they thought we thought what they did was Ok? And yet other sins we are not so judgmental about. For instance the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was "She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy." Perhaps these don't deserve a cake as well.
Take a minute to do some introspection. Can you see them? The sins you hide deep in the darkness and gloss over their importance? I can of mine. Some people say hate the sin, not the sinner. But I say hate your own sin, and love others.
Oh, that we all would have bleeding hearts, like the pictures of Jesus with a heart drawn on His chest dripping with mercy and love. This is where the term "bleeding heart" came from. Now it is used as a derogatory term. But we used to be known for being bleeding heart Christians.
Oh, Holy Spirit, we ask that you would crack open this shell of rock. Chip away the stone cold covering. Make our hearts so tender that even a small turn from your love will burn like acid on the soul. Give us bleeding hearts again. Help us to have empathy, to see injustice, and listen with mercy.