Our hearts can see things. Sometimes our natural eyes cannot pinpoint what we’ve perceived in our hearts. A great example is first impressions. A complete stranger walks into the room. There is something familiar about this person, and we don’t know why we feel this way, until we strike up a conversation. Turns out, this person happens to be a relative of ours. I had this kind of experience when I met my sister for the first time. We grew up in different countries and didn’t get to see each other until well into our adulthood. As strange as it seems, when we met for the first time, we hooked up and had a connection as if we had known each other all of our lives.
Much like our natural eyes, the eyes of our hearts can run into vision problems. Feelings, strong emotions can cloud our vision. That’s when we see things the way we want to see them instead of accepting the truth.
A relative of mine went through denial when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He just wouldn’t have it, didn’t admit to his mental challenges and refused to face the fact that he was losing his mind. Well, the disease progressed without his permission.
Our hearts can be asleep. An alert heart warns us when there is a dangerous situation. A heart fast asleep cannot do that. A person whose heart is put to sleep may function normally on the outside, but on the inside this person is as good as dead, auto-cruising through life with no enthusiasm to speak of.
When I was young, I found myself in a predicament. My reasoning was, if I did what my heart told me to do – which was breaking ties with all of my friends, moving away and starting from scratch in a different country – I felt I would lose everything, myself included. My identity was tied with the people I loved. And the people I loved repeatedly told me it was God’s will and therefore my purpose to stay with them. My heart didn’t agree. To soothe the ensuing emotional pain I retreated on an island of music. I am a songwriter, so songwriting I did. Completely consumed with my creative work, my songs were lullabies that put my heart to sleep. Coping mechanisms like that may work for a while, but like any other unhealthy situation swept under the rug, there comes a day when our hearts wake up. Sooner or later reality hits, and we will have to face the music.
Weighed down by depression, I ended up sick and became a shadow of myself. One day I sat down and said to myself: “Either I stay here and die, or I do what my heart tells me to do and leave.” Then and there I voted for life and followed my heart.
It is essential that the eyes of our hearts are enlightened so we find strength to do the right thing. An enlightened heart hopes. A shadowed heart has little to no hope. Paul writes in his letter that he wishes all our hearts were enlightened to see the beautiful things God has in store for us.
Listen to your heart, especially when it tells you something you don’t want to hear. Using the English language, here is a little pun for you: Have you ever noticed that the word “hear” is hidden in the word “heart”? Hear what your heart has to say, and I pray with Paul that the veil is lifted and your heart sees clearly.