To sit and breathe…just breathe. I need that today. My mind has been in a state of chaos for quite some time and has left me feeling depleted. The wind removed from my sails. I feel that life has had me in the boxing ring and here I lie, beaten down, on the cold hard floor, with life’s over-sized foot propped on my chest claiming victory. Cowered in my corner, I scream in silence for someone to hear me.
Funny how an event can change the way you look at things. You’re cruising along through life, enjoying the scenery and then POW! Brick wall. For a while, all you can see and remember is that brick wall. The impact left your vision skewed and redirected your path. It left you wounded, fearful and seeds of doubt began to bloom. After a few of those life “events,” it can leave you feeling listless, defeated and cynical. You become calloused, filled with anxiety, as you wait with anticipation for the next episode to present itself. You can’t see the present joys and blessings due to them being eclipsed by the lingering darkness. If left unchecked, your heart can become black, calloused, brittle and lifeless.
Recently I had to discard some flowers. They were roses that my husband gave me for our one-year “together-versary.” I wanted to keep and memorialize them somehow, as they were the very first flowers he has ever given me.
I decided I would keep a few of the blooms and press them in our scrapbook. As I stood in the kitchen and pulled the first bloom from its stem, I pondered on the darkness of the outer petals. Not only are were the petals dark, but also dry, brittle and lifeless. I began to remove the outer petals, one by one, setting them aside for my collection. Petal by petal, layer by layer, I began to notice something. As I delved deeper inside of the bloom, the brighter in color and softer the petals became.
By the time I reached the very center of the bloom, the very heart of it, I saw such vibrance and life! The deepest, purest red, so rich in color. Petals as soft as velvet, and the fragrance! Oh, the lavish scent that emitted into the air. I found myself wanting to curl up inside the very heart of this bloom. To caress my skin with the softness of its heart and bathe in the fragrance of its life.
Our soft, delicate, life-sustaining heart is hidden below our surface, just waiting and hoping that someone would care enough to just listen to it. To peel back the layers of callousness, to reveal your true heart and resuscitate it. To be heard, understood and loved in a manner that you recognize as love. For someone to take the time and listen to you, to really hear where life’s journey has taken you, not to try to fix you or your past, but to change your present and future by affirming you, and loving you the way you need to be loved. This is when you can truly bloom, revealing that inner light, softness and fragrance of love.
We are a calloused people who need our outer petals removed to reveal the heart of our bloom. Jesus cares for us enough, loves us enough, and desires us enough to bring the light, life and softness back to our hearts. He’s willing to be the caretaker of our blooms and peel away those petals, one by one. To take away the blackened, brittle, dried up and lifeless coverings over our hearts and bring life. His life through us. To replace our hearts with His.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of looking for that one person, that one thing, that worldly whatever, to care enough about me to dig deeper into my layers and get to know my true heart. To discover what made me the person I am today, and to still love me in the end, without their condemnation and judgment, regardless of the road that lead me here. God is the only One willing and able to do that….and He wants to do that for you, as well.
(The pictures in this blog are of the actual blooms from my roses. I arranged the petals that I pulled from the inner bloom in a manner to replicate a rose in full bloom. Amazing how looking at the surface reveals only death…and then digging a bit deeper to find such beauty.)
2 Corinthians 4:6-7
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
“Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”
1 Samuel 16:7
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
“Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure, because You will not abandon me to the realm of the dead, nor will you let Your faithful one see decay. You make known to me the path of life; You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”
“Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”