Wednesday, October 15, 2014
October 15, 2013
But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’ Jesus replied, ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, “Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.” Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?’ He said, ‘The one who showed him mercy.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Go and do likewise.’
The awakened heart
Why do some stop and others not? What is in the heart of the man who reached out to help? What makes him more … human?
I keep coming back these days to a single phrase, the awakened heart.
I look at the wonder of a harvest moon and my soul spills over with gratitude, my heart awakened from sleep.
I listen to the heart of another, to souls who privilege me with their secret hurts and deepest loves, and my heart fills and flies from my chest to bless as fully as I am able.
I am awakened and know myself, the beauty within, the grace that hides or sleeps or gets lost and hidden beneath layers of living.
What is the secret of holding the tender self within where love lives?
So easily it gets lost beneath the judgments of others, the hurts we suffer, the losses we endure. We lose ourselves, too, amid the details of what must be done.
Some have never known the warm grace of the awakened heart, filled with generosity and gratitude, love and joy. They do not know that this … not whatever they are pursuing or distracting themselves with …this is the height of their humanity
But I don’t think the tender self, the soul of love we each are ever dies. It is still there, deep within, no matter how many layers of pain or confusion or busyness or simple shallowness hide it.
It waits its awakening, sometimes needing time and voices to coax it out, reminders that when all is said and done who we really are is this beauty and grace that appear when the heart is awakened.
Sometimes it happens in an instant as when moon and stars fill us with wonder at the glory of being a human being amid the magnificence of our universe.
Or we look into the eyes of another and want nothing more than to bless and lift them from their sorrows. Then, too, the heart awakens to itself, knowing who it is and the Mystery who lives within
Ultimately, this is a mystery I do not begin to understand but only notice and try to describe with inadequate words and concepts that are not up to the task.
But I know … when the heart awakens love flows like water from an inexhaustible Source within the soul.
It happens sometime in prayer, or when we remember one loved and lost, or maybe when the right song penetrates the shell around our heart and awakens hope. It even happens amid the most common of conversations, or when, like the Good Samaritan, we see someone who truly needs what we have to give.
There is no way to list all the ways or circumstances in which the heart awakens, but it does help to take time to pray, to listen in silence to what your heart most needs and where it is most blest, and to spend time in the presence of those who love you most. This all helps.
But we do not make it happen. The awakened heart of the Samaritan … or your awakened heart on a moonlit night … is a gift from the One who is the Heart of the Universe.
Pr. David L. Miller