When My Heart Got Bigger
I was at a house concert the other night at the house of one of my church members, and the artist who was playing sang a song with a bit of a chorus that I wrote down.
Here was the line he sang:
When my heart got bigger I could see you better.That line spoke to me, and I've been thinking about it for the past several days. And I think I've finally figured out why it spoke to me so much.
I spent a lot of my life as a Christian thinking in small terms, and it kept me from seeing God in the world.
I believed that God's grace was small, limited and used sparingly on a select few. I believed that people were excluded from God's kingdom based on a lot of arbitrary and capricious reasons---all of which reflected my own world view.
I didn't really care all that much about the poor, the friendless, the downtrodden. I was too busy going to Bible studies, doing church-y things and feeling superior.
And then my beliefs got turned upside down, my heart began to break for the brokenness in the world around me and I realized that most of what I had come to believe was missing something very important... Jesus.
I experienced what Fr. Richard Rohr describes here as part of the path to a bigger, more expansive way of looking for God in the world:
Your heart needs to be broken---and broken open---at least once to discover what your heart means and to have a heart for others.My heart did get broken, but as it began to heal I realized it had also gotten bigger. I had a greater capacity for loving the world, and a greater capacity for loving others. It wasn't perfect, by any stretch of the imagination---but it was bigger.
And as a result, I began to see God at work in more places and spaces than I had ever thought possible. I finally understood what the late Eugene Peterson meant that "Christ plays in 10,000 places," because I could see evidence of Christ everywhere.
It changed my life... and my faith. I didn't know it, but I was beginning to learn the difference between belief and trust. Belief requires very little of us. Trust requires much more.
When my heart got bigger, I could see you better...May you learn to trust your broken, growing heart to help you discover new ways to experience God. May you find joy in the changes such growth may bring. And may you see God... everywhere.
May the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.