Jan. 29, 2017

An Inconvenient Heart

I have been described as “emotional and reactive”.  This label, meant to advise those with whom I would interact of my inconvenient heart, actually served as the catalyst for stunning personal growth and development.  Although I initially took issue with this assessment, the feedback allowed for an intimate self-examination of an introspective soul fraught with heightened sensitivity to the possibilities of life.  It allowed for the cultivation of a gift most often perceived as a frailty.  Gleaned from this assessment, I came to understand that to feel profoundly is not a manifestation of weakness, it is simply the mark of those truly awake with empathy and compassion for a broken world.  My inconvenient heart is not what is broken, it is instead our culture that has become debilitated and emotionally impaired.

Lest you think that I am solely ruled by instinct and emotion, you should know that I place great value on knowledge and higher education.  Always seeking to define my temperament and instinct with truth and mastery, I immerse myself in study, such that I would not be at the mercy of sensitivity, but that I would harness it for the good of the Kingdom.  With proper perspective, this incredibly inconvenient heart does not define me, it does not make me a victim.  It makes me a warrior, strong of heart and mind.  It is the very thing that will give rise to the hope of a more inclusively humane world.  It is the inconvenient heart that is willing to fall open, to be broken so that there is no real silence or tranquility.  It is the inconvenient heart that will set aside positions of comfort, and the security of the status quo for eternal perspective. It is the inconvenient heart that takes notice of the broken, the lonely, the lost and the marginalized extending the measure of grace and love that has been extended to us in the person of Jesus, for He does not assign validity or lack thereof to the stories of His children. 

The warrior hearts of this world are those that see into the very soul and story of another.  They see through walls constructed by man and they wear no cloak or veil as their eyes are fashioned to see beyond façade and adornment.  The warrior heart is the birthplace for vulnerability.  It is the seat of empathy and belonging and it is strangely attracted to broken and messy things.  Warrior hearts belong to sensitive souls who stand in the combat zone with transparency of heart and authenticity of spirit with the understanding that through them others might see the expectancy of hope. 

I have an inconvenient heart, and in this particularly divisive societal climate, it insists on profound affection and passionate extremes. But I would not have it any other way, because if my heart were to be crippled, hardened with disdain for those I do not understand, it would also be emptied of empathy and the gift of connection. This is what I know, the inconvenient hearts of this world, intricately fashioned by the Creator, when owned and empowered, are the very things that will serve the least, the lost, and the whosoever.  The inconvenient heart knows both the gift of knowledge and the beauty of emotion, and it innately understands that intellect without compassion and competency without character are of little worth.  An inconvenient heart is defined not by emotional reactivity, but by infinite empathy and connection born of the realization that another human being’s story is as relevant and as precious as its own.