BY: Audrey Jackson
E-MAIL ADDRESS: firstname.lastname@example.org
BIBLE TEXT: “My son, give me your heart and let your eyes keep to my ways.” --Proverbs 23:26
PERSONAL REFLECTION: It began with a boy. Things usually do, I suppose. He was five years old when he picked a rock out of the gravel and placed it in my hand. Kissing my cheek, he said, “It’s a heart.” And off he scurried, brown eyes mixing in with the darkness of the night. The summer of 2010 forever remains in my memory as one of the heart—a pruning of mine and a realization of His. A heart. The cliché symbol of love. They would appear to me as I walked through creek beds and wooded paths—during night hikes up to the staff cabin to shower or change. In fields. By the lake. Heart shaped rocks would appear, and the children began bringing them to me one by one. It became a sort of game for the other counselors—an excellent way to keep their children focused. And so my backpack began to fill with rocks shaped like things only closely related to a heart. I would keep them because they were a gift, but they weren’t just a gift from those sweet little faces and fingers. That summer, Gungor’s song “Beautiful Things” hit it big—and somehow, sensing the power in the lyrics, our campers would hunt crawdads while belting out, “You make beautiful things out of dust. You make beautiful things out of us.” And so, each day was a reminder of God’s heart and mine. The entwining of the two, a hard and beautiful process.
They just began to be something that I looked for—rocks shaped like hearts. And soon friends began mailing them from California and Michigan—giving them to me in Scotland and having little African children search for them on mission trips. And each time I’d get a thrill at the fact that they were perfectly formed into the shape of a heart—and that God had taken the time to deliver them just to me.
It was only natural that I search for God’s symbol in India. There—where my heart was pushed and stretched and broken. It became a mosaic of grace and forgiveness as I allowed Him to reconstruct the shattered pieces. Each day I’d walk with my face to the ground—searching. I knew He had a gift for me, but was impatient to receive it. Often, I’d dig around along the edge of the dark sandy beach, slowly wasting away from Monsoon season. I’d dig and poke and wonder why no heart seemed to appear.
And then, on the day of my departure, a whisper came into my ear. “Go over there.”
And there, in a washed up pile of sticks and debris, was a perfectly smooth, gray stone in the shape of a heart.
There are so many things I look for and pray for and long for. I keep my head down in the sand, wondering why God does not make them appear. So often, we see God’s provision and love manifested in fulfilled desires. So, we seek the representation of God’s love instead of God himself. In the same way, I sought the reminder of his heart instead of His actual heart. For me, it is learning to get my head out of the sand and remember that God’s gifts will undoubtedly wash upon the shore when I least expect it. His gifts are good and his love is never ending. He has never failed me, so I have no reason to believe that he would withhold anything good from me. After all, He carries my heart.
PRAYER: Lord, help me to remember that you hold my heart and you will always provide for me–in your timing.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Audrey loves to read, write, and go on spontaneous outdoor adventures. She’s currently working with Hands On Nashville, helping run their youth volunteer program.