Musing 2.19.21

MUSING 2.19.2021

                                                “Yet even now, says the Lord,

                                              return to me with all your heart,

                               with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning;

                                      rend your hearts and not your clothing.” 
                                                                                                                                          

                                       "Create in me a clean heart, O God,

                                  and put a new and right spirit within me.

                         The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;

                a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”                                              

                                                  "For where your treasure is,

                                                   there your heart will be also.”                              

These passages are from the traditional scripture readings for Ash Wednesday which is the beginning of Lent. Lent is the 40-day period of self-examination preceding Easter. Lent is about our hearts. It is the time to examine our hearts. Where are our hearts? How are our hearts?

With our minds we probe the universe. With our senses we see, feel, smell, hear, and taste. With our faces, we present ourselves to the public. With our hands, we do. With our feet, we move. But our hearts make us who we are. Our hearts shape us. We are warm-hearted or cold-hearted; we are kind-hearted or hard-hearted. Our hearts can be empty or full. We have heart-to-hearts which are honest, truthful, painful, edifying, and vulnerable. We have changes of heart which indicate a re-thinking of commitment.

Where is my heart? My heart just is not in this. I am not interested; I don’t care; I can’t connect or engage. We may go through the motions. We may be physically present, but we are just not there. This is true of relationships, jobs, classes, entertainment, church, hobbies. We count the days. Maybe we are doing it until the obligation ends. Or because we anticipate a payoff. Or because we don’t know how to get out of it. Or because someone is making us.

Where is my heart? My heart is all in. I am whole-heartedly for this. I am fully committed. What can I do to help? What do you want me to do? Where do you want me to go? I am here for you. I am with you all the way. I am passionate for this; I am into it.

Where is my heart? It is where my treasure is. Find my treasure, and you’ll find my heart. We set our hearts on what we treasure. My heart is set on it. Treasure is what gets my attention, energy, and priority. What do I treasure? Children? Grandchildren? Job? Investments? House? Hurts? Sports? Possessions? Partners? Education? Hobbies? Perfection? Control? Power? Knowing? Politics? Trips? Addiction? Do I have anything I really treasure? Is it all just meh? Maybe my heart is nowhere. Maybe I have no treasure.

Where is my heart? Our hearts are influenced by events. The pandemic, the impeachment and trial, isolation, zoom, weather, illness, and death effect our hearts. Maybe my heart is shamed and broken as is the heart of the psalmist. I want a clean heart. Maybe my heart is burned out, without purpose; I want a new heart. Maybe my heart is tired and weary; I want a fresh heart. Maybe my heart is cynical; I want a hopeful heart. Maybe my heart has no life; I want a resurrected heart.

A student asked his rabbi why God asked us to write the words of scripture on our hearts. The rabbi responded, “God’s words are written on the surface of our hearts so that when our hearts are broken, God’s words of life will sink into them.”

So where is God’s heart? God’s heart is all-in, fully committed to each and every one of us. Period. We are God’s treasure. We are God’s Passion. “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Be safe and well.