The Uncomfortable Heart of Christ

The Father’s love was so unlimited that he wanted us to know that love and to find in it the fulfillment of our deepest desires. So he sent us you dear Lord Jesus with a human heart big enough to hold all human lonliness, and all human anguish. Your heart is not a heart of stone but a heart of flesh; your heart of flesh is not narrowed by human sin and unfaithfulness, but is as wide and deep as divine love itself. Your heart does not distinguish between rich and poor, friend and enemy, female and male, slave and free, sinner and saint. Your heart is ready to receive anyone with total unrestricted love.

-Heart Speaks to Heart by Henri Nouwen

How many times have you heard someone say, “She has such a big heart”? Have you ever met someone and thought, “He has a heart of gold”?

We often try to quantify the quality of someone’s heart. We want to build them up for being kind or gentle. We love it when people treat us well. But as soon as they show us a different side of them, new heart-related clichés come out. We might say his heart is broken. In the south, we say, “Well bless her heart,” which never means something as nice as it sounds. We value the hearts of others based on their ability to show love to us specifically.

The heart of Christ is different. It is different from the hearts that we try to qualify. It is not damaged by sin or pain in the way that other people’s hearts are. It is different from our own hearts. It does not judge or distinguish, carefully selecting those it will show love to.

The heart of Christ is unlimited. Full. Caring. Flesh. Accepting. Wide. Welcoming. Deep. Endless. The heart of Christ is “ready to receive anyone with total unrestricted love.”

The heart of Christ is so amazing because we do not know another heart like it. We do not know a heart so big, not in others or in ourselves. The problem then is that we turn away from the heart of Christ because it is so foreign. We avoid the unknown. We walk away from the odd feeling of truly unconditional love.

Instead of running from it, we are told to abide in it. Abide in Christ’s love. We are told to sit in the uncomfortable care, rest in the loving embrace, and breathe in the full acceptance. It feels odd at first, and then, somewhere along the way, it becomes the most wonderful feeling of all.

Try it. Abide in love. It is waiting for you.

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

John 15:9

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

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