Reading: Heart Speaks to Heart, Chapter 1: “Come to me…”
Last week was an honest exploration and expression of where we are at. We expressed worries, guilt, depression, emotional and physical pain, fears that keep us busy and busyness that we just don’t know how to calm, or whether or not we should try. Jesus is not afraid of, or overwhelmed by, any of these things. Rather, He invites us to bring it all before Him (Matthew 11:28-30). In Heart Speaks to Heart, Henri guides us to speak from our heart to the heart of Jesus.
1) Henri recognizes the immense and divine love through which the Father sees us, and which Jesus came to show us. Yet he also struggles to accept it deeply. “It is so hard for me to believe fully in the love that flows from your heart. I am so insecure, so fearful, so doubtful and so distrustful. While I say with my words that I believe in your full and unconditional love, I continue to look for affection, support, acceptance and praise among my fellow human beings, always expecting from them what only you can give” (p21).
a) First of all, and this is important, I ask you to search out and share scripture verses that share the truth of God’s great love for us.
b) In your quiet time, or on your commute to work, or while you are making dinner, take these verses before Jesus and, like Henri, be totally honest about your doubts, questions, and fears. Just put them right out there before Jesus, from your heart to His.
2) “O Lord, all you ask of me is a simple “yes,” a simple act of trust, so that your choices for me can bear fruit in my life. I do not want you to pass me by. I do not want to be so busy with my way of living, my plans and projects, my relatives, friends and acquaintances, that I do not even notice that you are with me, closer to me than anyone else. I do not want to be blind to the loving gestures that come from your hands, nor deaf to the caring words that come from your mouth” (p26).
a) If Henri’s words here express your heart’s desire, then express the simple “yes” to Jesus in your own way.
You may choose to ask Jesus…
b) For help and awareness.
c) To set your heart on fire with love for Him and a desire to be in His presence.
d) For strength and endurance in your pursuit of Him.
e) To allow your life to be fruitful for Him.
3) “Help me to close the many doors and windows of my heart through which I flee from you or through which I give entry to the words and sounds coming not from you, but from a raging, screaming world that wants to pull me away from you” (p27).
a) For those who are visual this may be a helpful visualization. When you are spending time in God’s presence, but distractions come your way in the form of worries, negative thoughts about your worth, “to do” items etc, you can imagine yourself, very gently, closing that window, or door, and thereby leaving the thought muted on the other side. Then return your attention to Jesus/ the scripture you were pondering.
b) For me I find it very helpful to quickly jot the thought/worry down on paper, and promise to attend to it at a specific time, and actually return to it at the promised time. Of course, if you want to bring the thought, worry, or “to do” item before Jesus, that is fine too.
4) “O Lord, you kneel before me; you hold my naked feet in your hands, and you look up at me and smile. Within me I feel the protest arising, ‘No, Lord, you shall never wash my feet.’ It is as if I were resisting the love you offer me. I want to say, ‘You don’t really know me, my dark feelings, my pride, my lust, my greed… No, I am not good enough to belong to you… But you look at me with utter tenderness…” (p28).
INVITATION: Set aside a few minutes, and allow this experience to be yours. As you read Henri’s description, sense Jesus before you. He is holding your naked feet, ready to wash them with clean, warm water. What protest rises up in you? Tell Him. And then listen to how He responds.
In reality each of these four “questions” are invitations. Our goal this week is to create a conscious opportunity for your heart to speak to the heart of Jesus. Looking forward to hearing from each of you!