An Open Heart.
What does that even mean?
How do I get one of those?
And what does it even look like to have one?
These are my thoughts of late.
The opposite would be a closed heart.
Or, we could talk about a soft vs. a hard heart.
A warm vs. a cold heart.
All of these seem to work with where my thoughts are taking me.
It’s all about posture.
The posture of my heart.
If I am closed off.
Not honest with others.
My heart will begin to shrivel up.
Become hard and cold.
In this world we are living in?
It’s so easy to go inward.
Become about self.
Saving my own.
Praying for a “hedge of protection”.
Looking out for me and mine.
After all, the Bible says “Guard your heart”.
How do we do this?
Should I put my heart in a box?
Make sure nothing can hurt me anymore.
No-one can hurt me.
Stop with the vulnerability.
Never let them see me sweat.
Or be sad.
Nope, I’m not anxious or depressed.
It’s way better for me and you if I just shut up.
Quiet the face.
Play like everything is great.
And stay back.
Keep my distance.
No time for up close and personal.
Closeness just breeds heartbreak.
An open heart leads to a broken heart.
Putting my life out here on display?
Being willing to risk being known.
Willing to dive deep.
Not knowing when I can come up for air.
It’s scary, I know.
But, without it?
When I am in protection mode?
Something inside me dies.
The light dwindles.
How will I ever know I am really loved?
If I am not real.
If in fact, you love a fake version of me?
Is it really love?
I want to be known, really known.
With a for real kind of love.
And I want to be able to love you.
For who you are.
Not who you pretend to be.
Not the “first date” kind of infatuation.
But the real life, nitty gritty, been married for 25 years kind.
That is how God loves.
We see it in the person of Jesus.
He saw right through people.
Looked right in their eyes.
Straight through to their hearts.
Looked passed their outward behavior.
Through to their need.
And blessed the need.
We can do this too.
Bless each other.
If we are willing to open up to one another.
Don’t get me wrong.
It isn’t necessary for us to share everything with everyone.
But how about taking some baby steps.
Let someone in.
Trust our heart to another.
Maybe it starts with being real with God.
We can let the God who already knows… know.
May we feel the love that Jesus has for us.
May we open our hearts to him.
Let him soften them.
Maybe, just maybe the whole “guarding of our hearts”?
It’s not keeping them hidden away.
Maybe it’s actually keeping them out here.
In a place where we can see each other.
Alive and open.
Knowing and being known.
Because out of our hearts?
Comes the wellspring of life.
Karen R Shock resides in Fort Wayne, IN with her husband and their youngest son. She had three more children who are married and four beautiful grandchildren. Oh, and a dog name JT Barrett (Go Bucks). She is a retired homeschool mom and is now a high school teacher and cheer coach. Life is hard, but fun.