Observe the battle: My brother and I on one end of the field. My sister-in-law and her daughter on the other.
Dispute: When best to eat a pear.
My sister-in-law and her daughter want an apple-like experience when they bite into a pear, and they will only eat the fruit if it offers a solid crunch.
My brother and I, however, want a soft pear that caves in to your fingers when you give it a squeeze. We demand a good slurpy bite and pear juice running down our chins.
Winners: My brother and I. (Sorry, sister. My website. My advantage.)
Now I transition to talk of hearts and how mine too often has been of that crunchy, no-dripping-juice kind. A heart that doesn’t want to love and that doesn’t easily give to being kind and gentle.
But the Lord has said:
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. (Ezekiel 36:26-27 NIV)
Today begins another week, and I will go out to meet my people once again –husband, students, faculty, bank tellers, and grocery clerks. I want a heart of flesh in all my interactions.
I make it my prayer this morning: Lord, please make my heart soft and ripe, to love you and to care about people today.
Because soft is better.
The good news, in the Lord’s words in Ezekiel, is that all of the heart transplant work is done by him. He removes the heart of stone. He puts in the new heart.
We wait with hope and submit to the change.
As you’re heading into your day, think about your people. What will they experience in their dealings with you that will demonstrate to them you have a heart of flesh?