about five years ago (before i went on yl staff) my heart was extremely burdened for people. i would cry if i saw a homeless person on the street or would have a knot in my stomach because i so wanted people to know Jesus and felt very worn down because of it. when i went to new staff training in portland everything seemed to change. i felt as if my heart hardened some. i didnt cry as much for people. life felt a little lighter than it had. i felt like a part of me was missing and something was wrong with me. my heart for people was something i felt like the Lord gave me and when it was missing i felt like maybe a part of who the Lord made me to be was missing as well. today i was telling a friend that recently my heart has been burdened like it was before i came on yl staff. i the other day while shopping i became very burdened for the shoe salesman. for some reason i felt the Lord laid it on my heart to ask the man about his life. and, since then, it continues to be on my heart. now, doing something about it, that is a different subject. now this is gonna sound crazy but i saw the movie frost/nixon and was very burdened for richard nixon. crazy i know. yes, he committed a terrible crime and at the beginning of the movie the pres seemed like a greedy politician but by the end of the movie he seemed very sad and sullen. my heart felt for him. then, of course my heart started to feel for george w. bush and his mother and how it must be so hard for her to hear the media say negative things about her son. i know it makes me sound so girly and silly. but, this is just what has been going on in my heart lately. so when i was talking to my friend today she said that maybe God was protecting my heart and He lightened my heart. maybe it wasnt that something was wrong with me or something was missing. i like that. so often i forget how in control God is of my life. i so often think that i am the one in charge, even of my heart.
here is a beautiful picture of the heart for other people from henri nouwens book compassion.
(picture by joel filartiga)