fragile heart

To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one…Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket – safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is hell.

C.S. Lewis

Going into lockdown I listened to people. As the Corona virus started shutting things down I noted the conversations. Yes, there were chats around life and death, worry and anxiety but a lot of the conversation was around “how are we going to spend our time.”Long forgotten hobbies resurfaced, learning a craft or a musical instrument filled the pages of social media. Reports that people were doing more of their own cooking began to surface.

People wanted to fill their days with doing something. But I was struck by this quote by C.S. Lewis – to keep your heart intact don’t give it away, distract it with hobbies and little luxuries. I thought that the rest of humanity would enjoy a time of solitude and reflection. A time to retreat from the old normal and to ask God what does he wants us to focus on.

But I discovered that people did not want that. They wanted something else. God was saying “come away with me and rest,” and the world was saying, “I want to do something else.”

At the beginning those who were working from home were looking forward to no commutes and lunch queues, but as time went on the new term Zoom-ed out arrived. People are empty, the heart is gone fishing and Jesus gets no look in, the Spirit does not get a chance to direct.

Connection and relationship and key in the walk of a believer, and if we fill our lives with other stuff we can lose our connection with our soul. The real part of us, the part that speaks directly to God and God speaks directly to us, in our core, in our gut. The Spirit witnesses with our spirit in that real part of us. That place in us that we discover the things of God.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18NIV

It is possible to lose our souls and fall from grace in the busyness of Covid-19 life. Wouldn’t it be great to emerge from this season with our soul not only intact but at its peak.

Refreshment and replenishment are words that I yearn for. Each day I long to be filled by the Holy Spirit. In the depths of my being is my root note tuned to God alone.

How do I pay attention to my soul? Do I notice if something is off kilter? Can I discern what is of God and what is not? Do I notice theophanies, those moments when God invades our life and says, “I want to share something with you.”

For me, it is important to allow my heart to be vulnerable, to share when things are not going well, when I am scared or full of anxiety. My heart is fragile and I am in a state of open receptivity. I am not distracted by new or old hobbies. I cry out to the Lord and he responds.

A heart unfurling like a fern.

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