(From a dear friend of mine...)
I invest the time to hear the hearts of people I love
The hearts I invest the time to hear become people I love
There are times when one cannot help overhearing a conversation. Two people in another section of the waiting room were discussing an urgent matter when I heard one of them say, “Help me understand…”.
Three words, “Help me understand…” became immediately imbedded in my being and over the years have been a great asset in resolving challenging situations and restoring relationships.
Some years later, in a moment of quiet reflection, the Holy Spirit sweetly added another dimension. “Chuck, from now on just gently ask, ‘Help me hear your heart.’ Once you hear their heart, understanding will come.”
An old proverb says
“Keep your heart with all diligence,
For out of it spring the issues of life.”
The heart is the totality of our being. Dreams, memories, experiences, hopes, fears and much, much more. Our attitudes and responses towards life are based on what is stored up in our heart. Jesus said, “What comes out of the mouth is a reflection of what has been allowed into the heart.”
Why listen to another’s heart? Once we hear their heart we see them a different way. No more categories or stereotypes, labels or snap judgments. A person’s heart opens up the rest of his or her story, a story that usually reveals a different person from the one we’ve seen and judged up to this time.
Not listening to another’s heart has consequences. A heart not listened to becomes a wounded heart. If the wounded heart is not dealt with it becomes an angry heart. If the wounds and the anger are not dealt with it becomes a bitter and hardened heart, and the danger of that heart is that at some point it becomes destructive— of self, others, or both.
One heart and story beginning to unfold can become two hearts opening and unfolding to each other and as they do they move towards relationship, harmony and oneness. Each is no longer a category, problem or adversary; instead, they become companions on a journey to reconciliation and resolution. How many divorces, parent-child estrangements, job losses, discarded dreams, abandoned futures and other unfortunate situations might have been avoided if someone had asked, “Help me hear your heart.”
One heart we need to listen to is our own. An ancient prayer says, “Keep me from lying to myself.” No matter how hard we try we cannot shut out another’s heart without lying to our own heart. I once tried that as a lifestyle; believe me, there is no peace there. For me or the other person.
Moment by moment I have a choice. I can build walls to protect increasing levels of judgments and stereotypes, or with Christ as my center I can tenderly and compassionately ask in stressed and strained situations, “Help me to hear your heart”. My choice will determine how well I, and the other person, sleep tonight. It will determine the level of our inner peace tomorrow.
“Lord Jesus, help me to see what you are giving me today. Help me to hear the heart of every person and situation that comes my way. I know you are calling me to a higher road. And thank you, Jesus, for loving me so much that you not only want to hear my heart, you want my heart to be at one with your heart. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.