A Tortuous Heart

Thursday of the Second Week of Lent

More tortuous than all else is the human heart, beyond remedy; who can understand it? Jeremiah 17

I loved that line when I read it. It was one of those spot-on sayings that none of us need defining. We understand.

The lines following that one go on to say, “I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart, to reward everyone according to her ways, according to the merit of his deeds.”

I’m home today and sitting in my writing corner. I decided to miss the writer’s meeting scheduled for today and make another choice for simplicity and quiet. I had to. And I’m grateful I have the freedom to make that choice. Home. I’m staying home. At least until tonight when I teach again.

The day is chilly and overcast. I’m sure there are many who regret the overcast and chilly morning, but I’m not called to go outside and do anything. My job, today, is to center myself and get back into my spiritual center.   

I wasn’t so balanced a couple of days ago – on Tuesday I found myself close to tears a couple of times I was so tired of dashing about, doing and looking ahead to the week – a long day of teaching on Wednesday, a long day of meetings on Thursday, appointments on Friday, two afternoon meetings after church on Sunday –  yikes! My heart, as the reading goes, was tortuous. And so, I cleared my calendar for Thursday and I got quiet – because that’s what I had to do before I flew off the very edge of balance.

There’s a lot of flying off the edge of balance these days in all of us. And most of the time we have no idea how anything is going to work out in personal lives let along world lives: are nuclear rectors going to melt in Japan? is a fault line reactor in this country going to crack? is another American war beginning in Libya? … okay, let’s simplify: is it going to snow next week? That last simple question sets nerves on edge and contracts hearts in fear. Snow? Again?

See what I mean? We are easily tossed off the edge of balance.

That’s what the, “I, the Lord, alone probe the mind and test the heart…” means. Whatever we conceive “God” to be, the testing is in how we react to life. We can go gently and with balance or we can go digging in our heals. Which simply leads to bloody heals. One way or another, we have to go.

I read another beautiful line this morning by Ralfee Finn, an astrologer I follow. She said, “…spiritual health is learning to live comfortably in a state of uncertainty.”

And there it is. That’s how we gain “reward” for our ways. We find a way to live comfortably in uncertainty and we find a way to keep our hearts at peace. My way, today, is staying home because I can (at least until it’s time to teach). Your way is another way different from mine. It may mean closing the door to your office; leaving your desk and going to a quiet corner to do research; it my mean stopping long enough to feel a loving presence in your heart and expand it into a shield around you.

Whatever it is, may you find a way to peace and comfort today. Your mind and your heart will be happier for the effort.

4 thoughts on “A Tortuous Heart

  1. My bloody heels and I have decided to let go of my own recent struggle. Wonderful post – thanks 🙂

    1. You’re welcome Madison. Glad to hear you got the bloody heels part! And I heard the anguish of change in your own post this morning and while I didn’t get around to responding, I’d just say trust, little sister. Wherever is next, you’ll be okay; and your heels will heal.

  2. I missed your regal crown of snowy hair and wide, warm grin at writers workshop today. But as I reminded myself to take the breath-before-responding (which you whisper in my ear frequently, dear heart), I felt that all was well in your world.
    And so it is.
    Amen to choosing the way of peacefulness.
    You remain my model of calm under duress.

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