Sunday March 26, 2017
by Joan Webb
Softening a Stony Heart
Ezekiel 11:19-20: "I will remove...their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh" (v.19).
"I stopped feeling years ago," the old man confided in a rare truthful moment. "I built a wall around my heart so I'd never hurt again."
The phrase "heart of stone" could refer to the brick walls many of us, like the sad old man, build around our inner beings and personalities so that nothing or no one can get in. We believe these sturdy walls will protect us from additional hurt, shame, and disappointment. But the resulting isolation only increases our pain and distress. Locked inside these stone walls we may think we are safe, but we are vulnerable to loneliness and depression. In order to avoid feeling the ache, we often work harder -- and do more.
God wants to soften our stony hearts. We can start by dismantling a portion of the wall and letting a breath of fresh air into the musty, stone house. Once we start the demolition, by admitting our need to God, ourselves and someone who cares about us, God rushes to help.
Lord, help me punch holes in the walls.
I want a new heart -- sensitive enough to hear
and understand your voice;
and alive enough to enjoy intimate interaction
with those who care about me.
Copyright Joan C. Webb
For more from Joan Webb visit www.joancwebb.com