"I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart." ~Jeremiah 24:7 NIV
On a warm Fall afternoon, the solace of the coast beckoned my spirit. My car instinctively headed north, winding its way up towards the coastline of NH. I strolled along the shoreline; my eyes scanning the thousands of rocks that stretched before me...searching for a heart rock.
Lounging on the rocky shores of Rye Beach (a place of refuge during the storms of life), I shielded my eyes from the glare of the mid-day sun. The sunlight danced on the water; diamond dust sprinkled the waters creating a magical display. The tide gently swept across the shore, caressing the changing and shifting sands - an intimate gesture that seemed to capture the simplest and purest form of love. After years of disappointments, my heart seemed closed to the idea of love.
A single question occupied my mind, "What would you risk to find love...to abandon your heart into the awaiting arms of love?" How does one open one's heart to love again? Pondering the thought, I noticed a heart rock submerged in the sand. Leaning forward, my arm fell slightly short of its grasp. A wave crested and washed over the shore sending me stumbling backwards nearly escaping a soggy mishap. Would I venture into the tumultuous waters to risk capturing this latest discovery for my collection? Was it worth the risk? Would it satisfy me if I discovered upon closer inspection that it wasn't the 'one' that I expected, hoped for or desired? What then? Would I throw it back into the waters -- defeated and determined to abandon all hope of ever finding another one?
God's gentle whisper spoke to my reticent heart..."You will never find love standing at the shores of life, afraid to risk getting wet."
RISK. Just the thought of this word caused a spasm in my stomach; fear gripped me. Would I risk heartache again? Would I risk the pain of opening up to love, only to be hurt by life's disappointments, altered plans and unrequited love?
Opening my heart again would surely cause pain, wouldn't it? On the other hand, would I risk missing this opportunity before me...only to add this moment to the long list of 'lost opportunities'?
Before I could finish the thought, my body lunged towards the rock. Emerging from the depths of the sea, my arm (now soaked) held tight this sacred find. A heart rock, slightly imperfect (not nearly the kind I anticipated or hoped for when I first set eyes on it) lay heavy in my palm. At that moment, the tide swept up and over my sneakers soaking them through to my socks.
Sometimes in life, you have to take the risk. The first steps (usually the most difficult) sometimes result in getting a little wet, a little bruised, and a little heartbroken. Other times, you're totally submerged in a swirling sea of joy bursting from this new experience of an awakening heart.
As I continued my walk, I realized that one simple action (a risk) opened a small window of my heart. It was just enough to desire more risk...to continue to seek love whatever the cost. Disappointment, pain, heartache and loss cannot be avoided in life. But, always there is greater love...a deeper love...a more pure form of love to be found. And so...as the day's journey neared it's close, there amidst the rocky shores of life, I found an even greater love -
the love of myself (with all my imperfections), the love of life, and the love of God.
Would I seek God will all my heart? Would I allow God's love to reawaken my heart?
Love is patient, love is kind, love can be found...but you must be willing to take the 'risk' in order to discover it.
~ Writings from The Heart Rock Collective