11.10.2012

Hearts

So I've recently been running the metaphor of the size of a person's heart into the ground. You know, saying things like "this or that makes my heart grow." Although, in all fairness, I also think there's something about this season that makes people partake more often in whatever this or that is. I mean that to say we watch the movies and drink the drinks we love and so on. So for me that means I eat more chocolate and drink even more coffee and settle into my annual viewing of Slumdog... Elf and It's a Wonderful Life are around the corner. Maybe it is because of the cold. I think I'm just homesick.

Anyway, all of that has got me thinking of what people actually mean when they say that somebody's got a big heart. It is a decidedly positive descriptor; surely no one wants said of them: "you have a small heart." 

It makes me wonder how our hearts get in way they are. Because I think I would like to have a big heart, you know? To be noble, steady, whatever it is that people mean when they use the term. I also think, though, that a lot of who you are comes from genes and fate and what's happened to you in your life. That's all really philosophical though and I don't feel strongly about nature versus nurture and popular psychology or whatever. 

But it also made me think of Nathaniel in the Bible and how Jesus said about him: "in whom there is nothing false." Previously Jesus said he was a true Isrealite, but I had hoped Jesus was talking of something a little nearer to his heart than his heritage. Confirmation bias got the better of me and I dug a little deeper. 

Rather, the word dolos suggests a more fundamental internal disposition in which there is no deceit. He is honest and clear-sighted, his eye is single, he has a clear conscience. He is the sort who seeks God before all else.

I was happy Jesus was talking about his heart, but I mean, how did he get that way? Because that is so admirable, really. Were his parents just that great? And were the little Jewish boys in Jewish kindergarten a particularly good group of young men? Or maybe somewhere at sometime he decided he wasn't satisfied with being selfish. I don't know. 

What I do know is that there is not much higher praise than the Son of Man describing someone as having nothing false within him or her. I mean, can you imagine if Jesus was listing off people and he gets to you and says "ah, <whoever>... well there is nothing false in this little one." Think of it! I cannot at all. I think even if my heart wasn't big it definitely would be after that. 

I say all that to say, I feel like I've got to try. To have a big heart, to be honest and clear-sighted, to carry a clear conscience, and all for the glimmer of a possibility that at the end of my life Jesus might take a look at me and see through me and say "in you, child, there is nothing false."

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