Hearts of Stone, Hearts of Flesh

Ezekiel 36:26 says, “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” 

If you saw Disney hit Frozen a few years ago, you may recall King Agnarr’s advice to Elsa as she struggled to live with her special powers, “Conceal it, don’t feel.  Don’t let it show.”  Fear-based advice.  Bad advice.  That gives us an armored heart . . . and a frozen Nordic kingdom!  When our hearts are armored we are in a self-made prison.  Much like King Agnarr in Frozen, we think this will keep us safe and protect us and those we love.  There is much in our world that says this is the safest way to make it through.

Our thoughts might go like this, ’If you don’t know the real me, you can’t hurt me.’

If we don’t feel too much, or care too much, or get invested too much, we just might make it through this life without our hearts being broken.  Chinked a little but not really shattered.  Not the type of broken that buckles your knees, makes you fight for the next breath and makes you say, never again. 

Armored hearts Brené Brown calls them.  Through the prophet Ezekiel, God calls them, hearts of stone.  Armored hearts, hearts of stone, start to look like our best option.  

But God wants better for us.  God has always wanted better for us.  

God wants hearts that beat and break with the suffering of others.  Hearts that are transformed for compassion, for caring, for loving enough to have these very hearts broken.

In Christ when our hearts break, they break differently.   When your heart is broken and so is mine, and so is yours and yours and yours and so is the heart of Christ. When we pick up the pieces and start to put them back together again, I’ve picked up some pieces of yours, and yours, and yours, and you’vepicked up pieces of mine, and we’ve all picked up pieces of the heart of Christ.

God breaks our hearts of stone and replaces them with hearts of flesh.  Broken.  Open.  Whole.  Brokenhearted.  Openhearted.  Wholehearted in Christ.