There are as many ways to cloak and clothe and conceal the heart as there are people on this planet, for we are a people quick to judge. Quick to speak up, lash out, and strike back. Quick to curse and cut off. Quick to rationalize and justify and push aside. Quick to protect and sell out.
Quick to wound.
And oh so slow to listen and love, to forgive and give grace. And we need more grace. Grace upon grace upon grace in this broken world of ours.
We need more hope, more forgiveness, and more love. Much more love. Deeply unselfish, sacrificial, world-changing love.
We need to stop looking so much at the outside that we miss the heart intent – past the words, past the attitudes, past the clothing and behavior, past our own expectations – to seek the heart.
For there are millions of wounded souls in this world – all of us, really – afraid to be vulnerable, authentic, real. Afraid to be weak, to be wrong, to need help. Afraid to let others see us stumble and fall and fail.
So we cover our vulnerability with pretty clothes and nice cars and manicured front lawns. We shield our hearts with walls and attitudes and power and anger. We alternately make ourselves as unobtrusive and unnoticeable as possible, and wield swagger and rebellion like a sword, riding wild.
This world doesn’t need more fear, more aggression, more outrage. It doesn’t need more leaders or more power. It needs more love.
And time. Time to listen. Time to hear. Time to reach out, invite in, share a meal, take a hand, offer a hug, clean a rug, run an errand, send a card, bake bread, open a door, pull out a chair…love.
This world needs more love.
Needs us to open our hands and our hearts, and allow the light to widen the cracks and chink the armor. Needs us to step outside the busyness and turn down the volume. Needs us to love. Simply and deeply.
Love cannot be extinguished no matter how deep or wide or long or dark the night.
And love? True love? God’s love?
It changes everything.