“The Heart of the matter IS the matter of the Heart”
If you could see inside your heart.
Broken places … broken apart.
Has hope become a drought?
When did the Light go out?
Has the door been closed?
For uncounted reasons no one knows.
A disconnected heart so easily turns to stone.
Did you forget to forgive & refuse to atone?
wounds be healed that can’t be seen?
Or does that just happen in a dream?
In “human-onions” … where does one start?
Peeling layers in the heart … this is Divine art.
~ Fay Vietmeier ~
In back to back posts written by @Ali Anani: “Hardening Hearts” & “Germination of Ideas” there was a spiritually profound connection that produced this response.
I’ll preface with this note: the focus of Ali’s inspiring thoughts was not specifically toward the spiritual but that is where I was inspirited to go.
Whether you are a believer/a person of faith or a non-believer or an atheist ... the condition of your heart determines much in life … even destiny. So please read on ;~)
The hidden connection between these two posts is found in Matthew 13
In “Hardening Hearts” Ali states: “Spirituality calls for softened hearts. A hardened heart can dull a person’s ability to feel with others and lower his/her perception and understanding”
These words parallel perfectly one of the “pearls” of understanding found in Scripture
Hardened hearts is the first thread.
On more than one occasion Jesus ask his disciples: “Are you so dull of spirit?” He was referring to the condition of their heart.
Many of the things Jesus told the people were considered radical & revolutionary … others profound & a mystery. Jesus said: "I do not speak of my own accord, but the Father who sent me commanded me what to say and how to say it.” (John 12)
Jesus was always aiming at the heart. And the Potter understands the clay.
The parables that Jesus told are universal: for all peoples throughout all nations and throughout all time. Jesus understands how we are made & his parables reflect that understanding. Human nature, human behaviors & the condition of the human heart has not changed over thousands of years. The characters in Christ's parables are recognizable in any culture and in any era, because although cultures may differ, character does not —a liar is still a liar, a cheat still a cheat, a hypocrite still a hypocrite, and a fool still a fool. On the other hand, a kind person is still kind, a humble person still humble, a genuine person still genuine.
In like, a person with a hardened-calloused heart can be found anywhere in the world … in any moment of time.
In Matthew 13:
Jesus disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand.
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people’s heart has become calloused; (dull-hardened) they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them.” ~ Matthew 13 (verses:18-23)
How often do you stop to consider that the condition of your
heart affects your ability to see & hear?
We know that the human heart is a vital organ /physically it is the most vital because if your heart stops beating for *prolonged minutes … your life will end (*http://www.transweb.org/faq/q3.shtml
But the heart is much more than a vital organ that pumps life-giving blood throughout our body.
That is why we are admonished in Proverbs 4
“Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the well-spring of life.”
Everything you do flows from your heart.
Jesus gives absolute clarity: the condition of your heart vitally affects sight & understanding.
“Though seeing, they do NOT see; though hearing, they do NOT hear or understand.”
… Very eye-opening …
“They have closed their eyes” ... This is an act of the will … resulting in chosen blindness.
Here is the cause of the inability to see & hear:
“This people’s heart has become calloused” (dull-hardened)
“Otherwise” they might: see AND perceive
“Otherwise” they might: hear AND “understand with their HEART”
The life-imparting … life-transforming point that Jesus was making: Turn your heart toward God and be healed … This too, is an act of will … AND it produces healing & blessing.
When Jesus finished explaining why he spoke in parables he said: “But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear.”
A side comment: in this passage in Matthew 13: Jesus was quoting from Isaiah 6 … it is repeated several times in the New Testament. It drives home how unchanging is the human heart … throughout human history: people see what they want to see & hear what they want to hear … TRUTH should be what we seek & esteem … and practice. Clearly that is not the case.
So how does one change the condition of their heart? How does a calloused-hardened-dull heart change … become soft?
“When the heart is ready the feet are swift” ~Abraham Lincoln
For years I have had the thought that:
… Physical problems require physical cures …
… Spiritual problems require spiritual cures …
A hardened heart is a spiritual problem … the “hard-heart” condition requires spiritual surgery
This can only be done with the help of the “Great Physician” … it is a supernatural procedure that occurs in a willing heart (it requires recognition of the condition & a desire to change)
Then begins the process of transformation in your heart and life.
“When your heart is right with God … your life will follow.” ~ fem-v
“Germination of Ideas” is the second thread.
And once again: “The heart of the matter is the matter of the heart”
“I found myself asking if ideas germinate in our minds or hearts or even in both of them. Does germination of ideas to produce “ideas seedlings” require what good seeds need to germinate in farms? If our minds are compacted with ideas will these ideas compete as seeds compete for resources and space? Is it good to keep piling ideas in our limited mind space? How will these ideas germinate?”
“Seeds of ideas are living bodies”
Upon reading: the thought that immediately “germinated” in my mind and connected with “Hardening Hearts” is also found in Matthew 13 … also in the form of a parable
(@John Rylance also made this connection)
Here Jesus is speaking into the culture which was agrarian (related to cultivating the land) so the hearers could relate to the parable given.
The “Parable of the sower” which is also known the “Parable of the four soils”
Then he (Jesus) told them many things in parables, saying: “A farmer went out to sow his seed. As he was scattering the seed, some fell along the path, and the birds came and ate it up. Some fell on rocky places, where it did not have much soil. It sprang up quickly, because the soil was shallow. But when the sun came up, the plants were scorched, and they withered because they had no root. Other seed fell among thorns, which grew up and choked the plants. Still other seed fell on good soil, where it produced a crop—a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown. Whoever has ears, let them hear.”
“Listen then to what the parable of the sower means: When anyone hears the message about the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what was sown in their heart. This is the seed sown along the path. The seed falling on rocky ground refers to someone who hears the word and at once receives it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away. The seed falling among the thorns refers to someone who hears the word, but the worries of this life and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, making it unfruitful. But the seed falling on good soil refers to someone who hears the word and understands it. This is the one who produces a crop, yielding a hundred, sixty or thirty times what was sown.” ~ Matthew 13 (verses:1-9)
The parable sets forth that there are 4 different types of “soil” which describe the four conditions of the human heart:
· Rocky soil
· Thorny soil
· Good soil
It occurs to me as I write: that with the passing of time we have become disconnected from the land and even more disconnected from our hearts.
· The soil beside the road is the person who hears the Word, but doesn’t understand it. This isn’t just intellectual understanding. Jesus means understanding the concepts AND putting them into practice. If a person hears the Word but doesn’t put it into practice, then it never finds its way into the heart. The “evil one, the devil snatches away what was sown in the heart”
· The rocky soil is a heart that hears the Word and “at once receives it with joy”; the person recognizes it as “good news” but doesn’t deepen understanding … and lacks commitment. When trials and hardships come because of the Word, these people fall away–their & faith withers for lack of roots
· Thorny soil is a heart that hears the Word but becomes distracted by the cares and delights of the world. This heart can be overcome by busyness, anxiety, stress, worry, leisure and even procrastination. Probably the most common heart condition.
· The good soil is a heart that “hears the Word & understands it” … values it & applies it. This is the heart that we all desire to have: a heart that understands the Word and walks in its Way each day. This heart still experiences trials but does not fall away; it still experiences anxiety and stress but is not distracted by them.
It is possible that we can experience each of these heart conditions depending on the season & what is happening in our life.
It’s not a test but can you identify what kind of “soil” you are?
It is vitally important to know & monitor the condition of your heart. Your earthly life reflects it. You’re eternal life hinges on it.
“There are mountains to be removed & the greatest is in our heart” ~ Phillip Britts /Water at the Root
A grace filled invitation:
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” ~ Ezekiel 36“Today, if you hear His voice *do not harden your hearts” ~ Hebrews 3
*The admonishment “do not harden your heart” appears
7 times in Scripture/ 7 is considered a number of perfection & completeness)
This post is dedicated to my dear Professor Ali for his thought-filled writings & engaging conversations. If you have not yet read these buzz-posts I encourage that you visit them
Reference on Parables: with my edits
January 29, 2020 …this “draft” ended ;~)
I write: “In His Light”~ Fay Vietmeier
If my words make you think … Great ;~)
As “iron-sharpens-iron” … I enjoy bantering with other BEES … your feedback is as “honey”
A glimpse of the “Bee” called “me” ;~)
My caring nature makes me an advocate. My curious nature makes me a “queen of questions” … but gifted with the ability to listen ;~) I am a woman of deep faith, a blessed mother, a voracious reader, a blossoming writer, a grateful person, and a lover of beauty … I treasure TRUTH, family, true friendships and my loyal clients ... enjoy traveling, learning, good movies, good wine and golf. I’m a “heart-to-heart” communicator.