"I count myself one of the number of those who write as they learn and learn as they write." ~St. Augustine

Friday, April 2, 2010

black dots in my heart

Lately, I have been revisiting the "heart lesson" with my kids in home school. The "heart lesson" simply put is a picture of a heart and an outer circle that surrounds it. (a heart inside a circle) Drawn inside the heart is a black dot and a colored dot. From the dots are arrows that are drawn out to the outside of the circle. The black dots create black arrows out on the edge and the colored dot produces colored arrows.

Simply put, what is in your heart comes out in your life. The behaviors aren't the "good" things or the "bad" things... it is all about the heart. If you cut off one bad behavior, but don't deal with the heart... another bad thing will just crop up out of your heart somewhere else. It is all about the heart.

Looking at Proverbs or Psalms for the word "heart", one finds a gold mine. Every other verse is chalked full of heart:

"Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path."... "the man's heart reflects the man"..."The purposes of a man's heart are deep waters"... "the heart is the well-spring of life"

If I were to list the "black dots" in my heart two weeks ago, I wouldn't have put "selfishness" on the top 10 list. Not, that I can't be selfish. Of course I can. But, I just wouldn't have put it as my top 10 "black dots". Today, I would.

Sometimes it takes tight, pressurizing circumstances to show forth what is truly in our heart. We are told many times in the New Testament to test our actions. The proof of our heart is shown forth in our actions... ah! those little black arrows.

My husband came home finally from his long trip. I was much anticipating his arrival... for so many reasons. Because he is my best friend, when he is away, I just miss his companionship, friendship and our heart-connecting conversations. This I was deeply longing for as I awaited his final arrival. It wouldn't be a complete picture, though, if I didn't honestly say I was anticipating his coming so he could help me. His help with the kids, the house and daily life is significant. My capacity to be a single mom is quite limited and I was longing for his partnership in the home. ...maybe he would wash a few dishes, cook a meal and put the kids to bed.

My husband did come home... but he came home very sick. When he slipped into bed the late night he came home, he was burning up and continued with a high fever for 5 days. He was very sick and quite out of it. Not only was he tired from all the work he had done the previous week, he now had jet-lag and a intense virus to contend with. Let's just say, he wasn't up for washing any dishes or cooking any meals.

I had two responses to his sickness. Fear--- am I, are the kids, ... going to get this bug?! And, something akin to "what? are you kidding me??!"... "I can't rest... I can't let-down..." Thoughts raged in my head, and I barely kept them from popping out of my mouth... "I have to cook another meal and vacuum again!!" "I can't believe I have to put them to bed AGAIN!"

Oh!! the ugliness of those black arrows. Ugly. So very ugly.

But, they came and they came quick and ready. These thoughts shown forth what was in my heart. Given a little pressure, a little tiredness, and a little beyond myself ... and this is what came out of my heart! Selfishness.

Didn't really know it was there... This selfishness. At least, I didn't know that "black dot" was so poised to push forth through in my thoughts and actions.

"I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature....For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out....What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!" (Romans 7)

"Who can map out the various forces at play in one soul? Man is a great depth, O Lord. The hairs of his head are easier by far to count than his feeling, the movements of his heart." - St. Augustine

Have mercy on me, my savior Jesus! Thanks be to God-through Jesus Christ our Lord!
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