Discerning Hearts


Give us discerning hearts
to recognize
the fear in our anger,
the muffled hope in our cynicism,
and the wounds we carry as weapons.
Help us see ourselves as you see us,
and love ourselves and others
with your gracious love.

– Melissa Tidwell
Alive Now Magazine

(via Upper Room Daily Reflections)

The world we live in seems to be like a train on the fast track, I don’t think it’s going to slow down any soon.  At times I wonder whether we are going to crash into the destruction set in motion by our own doing.

Changes happen faster then the latest computer model, so often without warning and anyway we can predict it’s coming or outcome. Time and space is experienced as compressed and extended at the same time. Mere mortals we are, trying to live as immortals who do not need to sleep or eat properly. The rhythm of life gone haywire.

Chaos abounds.  Inner chaos probably much more worse then the chaos we read in the papers. The noise around us shouting for our attention.  Some needed, others unnecessary.  A lot of it hard for us to distinguish whether it’s needed or necessary. But we need the energy to see the difference, before we can really make a difference.

The secret thoughts and emotions residing in our minds and hearts can be a can of worms.  To be fair, there are moments where it’s a beautiful garden blossoming with such beauty that we are amazed ourselves and cry out – “There is a God . one who’s artistic and creative, and we’re his creatures reflecting that.” Sadly, a big chunk of the time we are battling demons coming in the forms of attractive angels.  Getting a little graphic here, but in concrete terms these are the real battles we wage when no one is looking. We may want to hope, but the force is strong in cynicism these days. Being naive is not an option after being burnt more than once, but losing our innocence that’s another matter all together.

Wounds . ah . those wounds.  Not scars mind you, scars leave a mark but don’t hurt anymore.  Wounds are fresh and sensitive.  The pain is immediate and if we are not careful get infected easily when they face another cut.  We need protection.  We need medication.  We need healing. Caution is a must if we don’t want to strike out in defensive measures reactively.  Some friends who can restraint us might come in handy 🙂

Like the old song use to sing . . . “I’m in a crazy crazy world . . . “

The reasons for all the mish-mash of all the above surely can be dissected by the smart and intelligent.  But sometimes, their theories ring hollow because so called objective detached analysis lacks not just what’s humane but basic humanity.  And yet, we cannot  be overwhelmed by our own subjectivity that we lose sight of what is really going on.

The tectonic shifts in culture, politics, religion, economics, the environment whether under the radar or smack in our face are changing the face of the earth we are living in. The pressures from the outside it pushes onto us are tremendous . whether it’s perceived illusionary or critically real may be up for debate, but the reaction of people is as concrete as it can be.  Slipping more into our cocoon, being more protective over ourselves, and keeping out distance with people as well as events looks like the survival mode any sane human would do.

The internal conflicts generated psychologically, and even spiritually are harder to decipher but the rate relationships are breaking up, poor choices made, tensions in partnerships, and the lose of direction or purpose in individuals are spiking high these days.  So all the best resources in understanding ourselves, keeping our faith in check and a holistic spirituality is on the table.

In the light of all this, the prayer above does wonders.  Words are offered to us so we can articulate beyond our original capabilities some level of sanity in an insane world.

Discerning hearts.  I love the phrase.  And I love the process these two words do to us . . . facing ourselves honestly, critically and yet affirmatively.  In the case of one who seeks to love God and others in and through Jesus Christ, I’m moved first to let his love do some needed work too.  Hidden work of reorientation of our attention, realigning of priorities, at the same time, inner surgical work that removes tumors of darkness, so the grace of healing will begin.

Seeing ourselves as you see us  . . . getting to the seeing ourselves is one step, but seeing ourselves as you see us now that’s one area which we often miss.  Maybe we are afraid of what we will see, but then again I think when we grow in a better view of who God is and how he sees us, it’s less horrifying even though some level of fearful reverence is good.

With your gracious love. . . so we dry up . . . hey, what do we expect?  Unlimited flow of energy, love, attention, etc.  Mortals we are, Superhuman we are not. A refill is needed from time to time.  But let’s not wait until our love fuel tanks are empty and we’re stuck on the road of life before we get some new fuel here. 🙂 A pit stop anyone?  It’s been some time . do it now before it’s too late.  Even when God is gracious to bail us out so often, sad to say some damage has already been done. So, a voice is calling in our wilderness, a voice calling for discerning hearts to respond, “Here I am, I’m coming!”

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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