Beloved

A book is not beloved

If it’s sitting on a shelf

Collecting dust and waiting

There with others by itself.

 

What makes a book beloved

Is the time I spend with it.

The same is true for people

When I take the time to sit.

 

Love is to be tended

Like a garden or a tree.

It cannot be neglected

Or it will escape from me.

 

Hearts, like books, sit on the shelf

Too often they are broken,

Not by being all alone,

by words that were not spoken.

 

Books long to be touched and read

And will wait until they rot.

Hearts long to be loved and held

But will break if they are not.

 

(photo credit bonpic.com)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Make Up or Makeover?

God’s is always working on my heart, but I always get in His way. Last night, I had a long talk with Him and gave Him the go ahead to do whatever He wanted with my heart. It was like leaving the house with expert designers and trusting them completely. As I drifted off to sleep, I had no expectations for the first time in my life. By putting limitations on God, I’ve ended up with a new coat of paint but never the makeover He wanted to give me. Fresh paint is nice and looks great for a while, but underlying problems quickly resurface. God gently reminded me last night that temporary make up isn’t the permanent makeover He knows I need. He asked me to trust Him and get out of His way. I agreed and drifted off to the most peaceful nine hours of sleep I’ve ever had.

I woke to an image I wasn’t expecting. I’ve seen enough Extreme Makeover shows to know that’s the norm when folks let go of what they have in mind and trust the experts to do what they do best. I shouldn’t have been surprised when God wowed me in a wonderful, but unexpected, way. The image was a couple I know kissing in front of their fireplace. I watched as they loved and embraced one another tenderly. My heart was freed in a way I cannot describe. God knew I was ready to see what He wanted, and that signaled an important turn in the transformation He worked in my heart. He made me realize that I truly do want the best for those I love. My wish was for the happiness of another, and that’s what Christ’s precious love is all about.

Selfish needs and wants never satisfy my heart. Like make up applied to the face or a new outfit put on the body, temporary changes make me feel better for a little while but don’t go deeply enough to cause true change. Selfish wishing and wanting keep God waiting, but letting go allows Him do what He does best. I can say I love and mean it, but I don’t truly know love until I let God show me Christ’s selfless love. Love that flows freely and allows self differentiation. Love that doesn’t smother with its embrace. Love that wants the very best for the one loved. I finally get it, and it feels great!

Some make up, a beautiful outfit, a coat of fresh paint, and some new furniture make me feel good for a little while, but God’s makeover makes me feel like a butterfly coming out of her cocoon. The change is beyond what I could ever imagine on my own, but it’s exactly what God has had in mind the whole time I’ve been crawling around on my own. He knew I would get it once I saw what He was doing. He is God after all, and He is amazing!! My heart belongs in God’s hands, or should I say my heart takes off from God’s loving hands when I let go of it and let Him give it wings.

Transformed Heart

Heart of Diamonds

Like a diamond, my heart has many facets. God used that image to teach an important lesson yesterday. He has been cutting away at my heart for decades, and sometimes the pain is more than I can bear. Yesterday, He showed me His handiwork on my heart, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. God has always seen what I could not when it comes to my heart. I’ve made many mistakes in regard to love, but God is love and knows what He’s doing when it comes to love and hearts. He continued to cut and polish even when I resisted.  The beauty of a well-cut diamond is that it becomes more beautiful as it is turned and held up to the light. My heart was turned all around yesterday in God’s light, and I saw love, hope, peace, and joy beyond anything I could have imagined on my own.

According to Wikipedia, when it comes to shaping diamonds, “Cut does not refer to shape (pear, oval), but the symmetry, proportioning and polish of a diamond. The cut of a diamond greatly impacts a diamond’s brilliance; this means if it is cut poorly, it will be less luminous.” I understand and appreciate that more after yesterday:)

The scriptures this week are from Hebrews 4:12-16

“For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

14 Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. 16 Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

When I’ve read those scriptures, I have always imagined God with His scalpel cutting away at my heart in a loving and skillful manner. That is a beautiful image and one that is accurate given that the Greek word for two-edged sword in the passage is similar to a scalpel. I know the wedding today is all part of the image involving a diamond. In the hands of a master diamond cutter, a rough piece of worthless rock becomes a priceless masterpiece. In the wrong hands, a priceless jewel becomes a pile of useless dust. I’m thankful God knows what He is doing. His love has a precision that the world’s best diamond cutter envies.

God sees beauty where I cannot. He’s been carefully cutting and polishing my heart for sixty years. He placed it in the perfect setting yesterday and bid me to take a look. As He held my heart up for me to see, I saw love all around in the faces of my family, and I also saw Him in the beautiful mountains that I know He made just for me. He was waving and smiling broadly everywhere I went yesterday. I love it when He shows off, and He definitely did that in a big way yesterday. We all love seeing our handiwork and want others to see it too. God is no exception:)

I thought you might think I was exaggerating, so I’m including a photo:) Can you see God in the background? He’s always there, but sometimes I don’t notice. Can you imagine that?