The Wind

The wind began to blow in the valley. It started as a gentle breeze just to create an awareness of its presence for those who were still and quiet enough to notice. The few who noticed began to move about inside their walls. They remembered the way the breeze had touched and warmed their skin in the olden days and wanted to experience that touch again. 

They soon realized that the fortresses they had built were keeping both the things they feared and the things they loved from getting close to them. They realized they had walled themselves in so tight that the breeze could not come near them. 

They began to cry out for help and the wind which began as a breeze began to blow thru the valley loosening the bricks. 

The Day the Walls Came Down

They lived in the valley of walls. This had once been a beautiful valley full of vibrant flowers and rich green pastures. Long ago, the air had been filled with shouts of joy and sounds of celebration. The valley had once been a place of refuge until one day the people who lived in this land began to build walls around themselves. Brick by brick, they began to close themselves in and fortify their space. They thought they were protecting themselves although they had nothing to fear. Some days they worked alone building their walls and some days they helped each other. Some days they woke up to find that bricks had been added to their walls by others without their permission. What once had been a beautiful, open valley was now a sea of brick and mortar dwellings as far as the eyes could see and the air was heavy and dark and eerily silent.

But this would not be the end of the story…

The land would soon be redeemed…

The walls would soon be torn down…

Transplant Recovery

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. – Ezekiel 36:26

Have you ever wondered what it would look like to get a brand new heart? Do you ever think about the promises of God and consider how He might do those things He has promised? Have you ever considered the process? When you imagine Him giving you a new heart, is it something that you imagine happening in an instant or does it take time? Is it a painful process or one that brings relief? Does He need your help? Do you even need or want a new heart?

I’ve pondered this scripture, along with some others, for the past couple of months. It’s interesting how a scripture can come alive when you commit to spending time with it and God. It’s interesting to sit back and look at the world around you thru the lens of a scripture to see what God wants to tell you that may not be completely clear staring at the ink on the page.

I recently attended an event specifically designed as a place to meet with God over matters of the heart. It was hard and beautiful and glorious to name just a few things about it. He did things in the hearts of every person there that will change the course of their lives if they allow them to. He spoke deep truth that many of us may have heard before or for the first time, but He spoke it deeper into our hearts than ever before. At least that was my experience and judging from the eyes of my friends, that was their experience too.

He spoke to me thru eyes of compassion and love and acceptance and forgiveness.

At the end of our week together we were encouraged to guard our hearts. We were encouraged to guard the new work that He had only just begun. The analogy of open heart surgery was given and the need for protecting that. It made perfect sense…and then we all went home.

I came home and stayed in a protected cocoon for a couple of weeks. I stayed inside my head and my heart with the things He had spoken to me. I shared my experience with “safe” people who I knew would encourage and celebrate the things I was ready to share. And then you have to start moving…

At some point you have to begin to walk out the new things God is doing in your heart if you want to keep them. At some point you have to actually test them out in your relationships and your day-to-day interactions. And that is when I realized a heart transplant isn’t the same thing as removing a splinter or putting a little dab of neosporin on a scraped knee.

I was watching Grey’s Anatomy with my daughters and they were doing an open heart surgery. It was bloody. It was tedious. It took skill and precision. It took a fully submitted patient…

They didn’t have time to show the recovery process on the show, but I can only imagine what it would be like. They couldn’t stay in that hospital bed forever. They couldn’t stay in the care of the doctors and nurses forever. Eventually they would have to get up out of that bed, leave that hospital and go on with their lives. I’m guessing there would be hours of rehab and follow-up appointments to check on their progress. I’m guessing with a heart transplant there would be testing to be sure the new heart was compatible and not being rejected.

I’m also guessing that as the days and weeks and months go by after a surgery like that, the heart becomes stronger and stronger.

They go from strength to strength,
    till each appears before God in Zion. – Psalm 84:7

Do you have a new heart? What did it take for you to get it? Are you tending to it? Are you allowing Him to tend to it? Are you exercising it so that the new is allowed to grow and strengthen and serve you and others the way it was meant to?

Here’s to a life time of glory to glory and strength to strength!