Heart of Flesh

I yelled at Jesus this week.

Right out loud in my car.

Futilely fighting the tears, I yelled.

“You said, nothing wasted.

But all I see is waste.

Mess.  Drama.  Ugliness.”

It’s true, friends.

I want so badly to see hope win.

To see redemption.  Deliverance.

And I have a very real picture in my head of how that should look.

Today (or, preferably, this past Wednesday).

And I drive home with all of the feelings

But none of the answers.  None of the resolution.

A heart of stone doesn’t sound too bad right now.

Less to feel.  Less to lose.

And yet

These are the words that come…

I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh

(Ezekiel 36:26)

Words that breathed life to me once upon a time when I was young and knew betrayal

When I felt the waste for the first time.

Words far from my mind for many years

But near today.

Home with the babies, I slow my breathing.

And talk with a sweet friend.

She doesn’t buy all this Jesus stuff.  Not just yet.

But it is here, in this conversation, that I feel him chiseling away at my stony heart.

The Light is breaking through.

I am not pretending when I tell her about the mess.

About how it all feels like a waste.

And I am not pretending when I speak of hope.

When I tell her I still believe in deliverance.  In redemption.

We know this, together.

And there is something beautiful in this moment.

Something beautiful and strong and right.

No easy answers.  No resolution.

No altar-call moment (y’all know you were thinking it).

Just a feeling that maybe my idea of hope is too small.

That deliverance might look different than I imagine.

That I need redemption as much as the next guy.

And that though stone may feel safe,

Light can only shine

through the cracks.

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