Monday, November 05, 2012

CP 195 My heart is black

CP 195  “My heart is black”

I was once out visiting an old bloke of ‘European extraction’. While we were standing by the veggie garden a family relative, who lived there, happened to come home. We exchanged pleasantries and the said relative went into the house. My elderly companion turned to me and spoke, with more than a little venom, from his heart. “I hate him, I hate him. He’s lazy, lazy, lazy. He’s useless. He never does anything around the house. Freddy, I tell you he’s a bludger.”

This was high-level passion. But even as he said it, I felt the ugliness of his hatred in his voice. And I couldn’t miss the way that ugliness was revealed on his face. There was nothing hidden because he simply could not hide what he felt. In fact he was so powerfully distressed that he walked a little way away from me. Then he came back and spoke words that grabbed at my heart. “Freddy, my heart is black!” And that was both a cry of sadness and a plea for help..

Sadness? Yes. He knew he was in a terrible place. He knew he was being consumed by the ‘thinking of his heart’. The resident bitter spirit was his constant companion, and seemingly inescapable as well, because the object of his venom lived under his nose, (or feet if you prefer.) There was a daily reminder, not only of the perceived failures of his relative, but also of the bleakness become blackness of his own spirit. His judgement-call had become hardened in his heart. Eventually it became full-fledged bitterness and hate. And he knew he was trapped. He was miserable.

I’m sorry if you think/hope that I have a miraculous healing story to share. I don’t. It may yet come. But it is a cautionary tale, the story about the poison which paralyses a heart when forgiveness muscles are no longer exercised and the human spirit gets fixated to the point of unrelenting bitterness.

There was nothing in his traditional religious understanding and experience which would confront and challenge his own sin and call him to repentance. Therefore he could see no way out. He told me he would be happy to be dead rather than live with the pain of hopeless hardness. I guess you also know the flip side of what was going on. For the rest of his family he was a difficult, if not impossible, man to live with. Any love he had was soured by this invasive and ugly spirit. What does that book called Hebrews say about this type of situation? “See to it that no-one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many.” (12:15)

I still converse with him. I want to be his friend. Why? Among other things, because it is only a friend who will be able to be close enough to speak the truth. Only a friend will be able to be close enough for him to receive the truth and respond to healing that only the Christ can bring. Only Jesus Christ can set a person free the personal prison of a hardened heart. I pray for him that the Holy Spirit of Jesus, the Spirit of love, compassion and grace, will move into the centre of his heart and allow that new heart to be created. It is that new heart which is the dwelling place of God in the Holy Spirit.

Please pray with me for this old bloke… lets call him Alby… his heavenly Father knows who he is. And pray the Lord’s Prayer with the awareness of temptation and the daily charge to guard your hearts. Look in the right place for help!

“And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Phil. 4:7



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