Prepare for Joy: Dissolve My Hard Heart

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My love is weak,
my heart imperfect,
so I have great need of You.
I need your strengthening and your comfort,
your instruction and your freedom.
Let your love dissolve my hard heart.
Let your love lift me up.
Let your love reveal to me joy beyond imagination.
Let my soul exhaust itself in singing praises of your love.
~Thomas Kempis “A Prayer of Need”

As we gently transition here in the northwest to spring, with backlit sky and buds opening to the new light, there are plenty of places around the country still deep and frozen under feet of snow.  The hardness it takes to outlast winter can weaken the the most enduring loving and warm heart.

And too there is a hardness in the hearts of people of faith when we watch our brothers slaughtered while singing praises of their love for God, captured children placed in cages, women sold into slavery.  We want to somehow rise above such senseless violence and not resort to it, not become one with extremism yet feeling helpless to stop it.

For this our God died, carrying man’s terrible burden of sin and selfishness to the grave, burying it deep and leaving it there.  We still weep and lament, we still suffer and groan, whether near the rolled-away stone, or for the 21 kneeling Christians on a far-off beach several weeks ago.  We can respond with joy that we recognize Him when He calls our name.  He knows us, each and every one.

We may be exhausted, but lifted up and dissolved by the gentle softness of His love.

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