Thursday, June 12, 2008

Healing hearts

Today’s Reading: John 12:39-40(NIV)

39 For this reason they could not believe, because, as Isaiah says elsewhere: 40 “He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes nor understand with their hearts, nor turn – and I would heal them.”

Isaiah 6:9-10(NIV)

9 He said, “Go and tell the people: “’Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing but never perceiving. 10 Make the heart of this people calloused; make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.’”

Good morning!

What goes together like peanut butter and jelly on a slice of fresh-baked bread? Children and scrapes on the hard playground asphalt. Children, concrete and scrapes seem to go hand-in-hand. Our home was situated on a circle drive. We were at the end of a dead-end street, and this became a perfect place to play outside with my friends. It was a quiet neighborhood, secluded from the rest of the busy world. Every afternoon, the circle would erupt with activity as we played hopscotch, kickball and tag outside. A large weeping willow tree grew tall in the center of that turnabout, providing a shady respite on a warm summer’s day. We had our very own secret playhouse underneath those long, dangling branches. Inevitably, one of us would slip and fall while running across the pavement. My mother kept the Bactine®, a bag of cotton balls and Band-Aids® handy. She was always outside, tending to someone’s scraped knee or elbow.

I’ve had a few scrapes in life. In fact, I wear many of these scars today. I don’t think a day went by when I didn’t pick up a new bruise or cut playing outside. The scabs on my knees and elbows never really got a chance to fully heal. I would invariably fall and scrape up my arms and legs in the exact same place I did the day before. Some of those scars have become calloused over the years, where the skin is leathery and taut from over exposure, wear and tear. Do your scars bring back memories of days gone by?

God whispered in Isaiah’s ear approximately seven hundred years before Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem. He said to Isaiah, Go and tell the people that their calloused and hard hearts are getting in the way of seeing and hearing my message of salvation. They bear the deep scars of sin and shame, of disobedience and rebellion. Yet, even when they see me, they do not understand; they hear me, but cannot perceive my Word. If they would just stop and turn around, I would heal their scarred and calloused hearts once and for all. Isaiah knew the Savior was coming. He had the Father’s Word on it.

Is your broken heart so calloused today that you cannot hear the voice of God whispering in your ear, “I love you, dear child. If you let me, I will heal your scars once and for all. Turn around; come home.”

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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