Ever since Richmond, we’ve looked for hearts.
It was July and every day we walked the hot black asphalt to get to our classes, Jackson and I to ours and the kids to theirs. Missionary training.
And one morning when we were running late of course, Sunshine girl stopped on the black and pointed down. “Look momma,” she called to me already pushing ahead. “It’s a heart.”
Something, a divine hand perhaps, caused me to slow.
Sure enough, there in the burning black lay a speck of white, a glistening heart.
I looked my sunshine girl in the eyes and I told her that God wanted us to know that He loves us. “He’s sent us a message,” I said. “He’s reminding us that we are loved.”
Her smile and twinkle told me the words reached deep and we held hands and arrived late to our classes. Ever since then, we’ve searched for hearts.
And one day when the ordinary and mundane are in full swing and we are driving down I-40, Sunshine girl exclaims, “A heart momma! Look!” And I look up and there on a blank white billboard is the shape of a heart. It’s cut out of the board and you can see clear through- just an empty billboard with a heart blown through it.
We know we’re loved.
And one day when we are walking down the sidewalk, there’s a chalk heart and Sunshine reminds me “we are loved, momma.”
And then one day we go hiking with friends. Seven kids and four adults and getting lost and feeling tired and carrying piggyback…and a perfect heart. “Momma! Look what I found!” She’s yelling at me from behind, interupting the adult conversation that’s so rare. “What is it,” I ask and there she holds it in her palm: a heart stone the color of gold.
“Let me see, let me see!” her friend cries and snatches it out of her hand. “No, it is mine, I found it!” And mommas have to intervene and calm the fight.
Later, she slips up to me and whispers, “I gave Anna Grace my heart stone” and I have to admit my heart twinges strong. I want her heart stone to go into her keepsake box, a little reminder of how loved she is.
But I smile and tell her that was so kind and I stroke her face and she beams at me happy.
He speaks to me in that moment, He does. “If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us. Herein is love made perfect in us.”
Love is perfected in me when I love another.
Love is perfected in me when I love another!
Love is not complete until I give it away. And I look at Sunshine girl~ who cares so deeply about a heart stone~ slipping it to a friend who throws it in the dirt and moves on.
Isn’t this why we hold back? Is this not the reason why we find love imperfected in our lives? Because we know someone will take the sacred from us and trample it? This is the kind of love that fears, an imperfect love, because perfect love casts out fears.
So we give stingy love. We love as long as it doesn’t cost us. We love if it’s going to be worth the investment. We aren’t lavish and free and generous with our love. We protect our stone hearts.
I wonder how to overcome the fear. How to give it away, just like that heart stone…even when you know it’s going to be ill treated or lightly esteemed and I cry for my girls who need to see momma letting love be perfected.
That’s when He speaks again:
“My child, you can never lose love. You can only lose the stone heart.”
When we give love away, love is not lost. Only the heart of stone is. When I give love, even if it is trampled, I only lose that which is worthless in me. I can never lose the precious.
If love makes a demand that I want to shy away from, I need only remember that He is asking me for my stone heart. I can never lose the precious!
So friend, in whatever situation you are facing, here’s your heart. It’s to remind you that you are loved.
Now what are you going to do with it?
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