Tuesday, June 23, 2009
A new heart
As parents, we spend a lot of time focusing on what we teach our children, but sometimes it's just as valuable to stop and process what the Lord is teaching us through them.
Yesterday as we were cruising in the car, I pulled out an old Nickel Creek CD. The carefree melodies of the mandolin and violin were perfect for a steamy afternoon drive- windows down and Icee in hand, wind blowing your chlorinated hair dry. Anna Grace sat quietly in the back, sipping on her peach and Coke Icee mix, until a song came on that moved her heart. It didn't take me by surprise too much, because Anna Grace has done this many times before: crying because she's happy. It's an emotion that she's not sure what to do with, but it's very strong in her heart and she is moved to tears with expressions of love. Whether it's The Fox and the Hound movie or a Nickel Creek song or me telling her how much I love her, the emotion takes hold of her heart and she is moved in a big way.
It's not always an easy thing. Many times, she's inconsolable when she's disappointed or she's thrilled to the point of hysteria when she's excited about something, but I'm trying to walk the fine line of directing her heart and emotions appropriately and in a way that brings life. As Leonard Sweet and Frank Viola put it, "Jesus did not come to make bad people good. He came to make dead people live."
I want to be fully alive and fully engaged with Jesus, living from my heart, and that's something Anna Grace is really good at doing. Whether she's casting out fear in prayer before she screams "CANNON BALL!" to announce her flop into the pool or telling me that it feels like heaven to do a flip over her little pink chair, she is fully engaged and fully alive in these moments and that's something I don't want her to ever lose.
I think I've lost a bit of Luke 7:31-35 in translation, but it seems like it speaks a little bit to this dilemma of my heart: "To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other: 'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance; we sang a dirge, and you did not cry.' For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, 'He has a demon.' The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, 'Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and "sinners."' But wisdom is proved right by all her children."
I want to dance. I want to cry. I want to experience life in all of its fullness.
Thank you, Jesus, that you are the One who promises to give me a new heart and put a new spirit in me and to remove from me my heart of stone and give me a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). Thank you for using your little girl to teach me a little bit more about your big heart of love.