Heart of stone, Heart of flesh

10:10 AM   //   by Emily Garrett Peña   //   Blog, Light and Life  //  No Comments

He is a small child, an incredibly intelligent child, a child with a special “spark” of life.
So when we see his face stony with pent-up anger, the Continuing Education staff gets concerned about what’s going on in his life and how to help.

This year has been complicated for him and his family. Every day, Mom walks her love and dedication out on crutches to sell cleaning products door-to-door. Stepdad has been in and out of the hospital with depression, and Brothers have their own struggles. Oldest Brother has been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and Middle Brother is experimenting with drugs and the streets instead of school. He — Youngest Brother — is much-loved, but Mom realized that home was not the place of protection and provision that it should be, so she lovingly released him to live in a Christian boys’ home this year.

He gets to go home on the weekends, and he comes to Light and Life School Tuesday-Friday for Continuing Education. But the whole situation is hard on the little man.

We pray for him, we talk with him, we laugh with him. We feed him, we help with homework, we take him to the doctor. We talk with his mom, we visit the boys’ home, we pray some more. We hug him, we listen; we write words of affirmation for him, which he tears up as he walks out the door.

trejos futbol

There is no heart so hard to reach as the one locked up for fear of being hurt. As C.S. Lewis says in his book, The Four Loves,

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

With the Spirit’s help, we keep praying, we keep loving, we keep ourselves vulnerable to the wounds he and others can inflict.

“ And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God]” Ezekiel 11:19 (Amplified Bible)

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