I saw this sticker by Art of Marza and had to have it. “Refusing to harden your heart is a radical act.” Now it’s on my desk, just below my screen.
It’s never a good thing in Scripture when your heart is hardened. Hardened hearts happen to Pharaoh, the Egyptians, various enemies of the People of Israel, various leaders and groups within the People of Israel, and assorted crowds in the Gospels.
I feel the temptation to harden my heart every day. I felt it yesterday when an unhoused person staggered into the path of my car in the parking lot at Safeway; I feel it every time I look at the news. To see every one of my neighbors as a fellow child of God, to yearn to offer shelter and safety and justice, to believe that it is possible that poverty, addiction, and war are not inevitable: it requires a radical act of commitment.
We are followers of Jesus. We believe that death does not have the last word; that resurrection and life can appear when hope is lost.
So I am recommitting myself daily to softening my heart, rather than hardening it.
Ezekiel 36:26 is one of my favorite Bible verses: “A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit I will put within you; and I will remove from your body the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
May we all find ways of maintaining our hearts of flesh.