Living from the Heart


I love this book. I love it because it gets to the root of who we are as human beings, something I’ve always been fascinated with. I have a passion for ancient human history (pre-Noah), because I find in that study that we are more than what we seem to be, that ancient man was extremely intelligent, and that the spiritual war we are in was accentuated, more obvious.

But who are takes on a deeper light in this book, and one of Eldredge’s main themes is that in order to be fully alive, we must learn to live from our heart. Well, that’s the same heart that has been assaulted since the day we were born. It’s been misjudged, yelled at, put down, betrayed. And at times it’s been hurt through our own stupidity as well. So we learn very early on to guard it carefully, to only open it up to the very trusted, and sometimes not even then.

I just finished reading a blog by a dear friend. Her heart was betrayed by her parents, and she has spent years dealing with the pain of that. The voices still wake her up at night. But she is healing, slowly.

Why have I not blogged for awhile? I think it’s mainly because I am reading this book. It exposes parts of me that I usually don’t think about. It requires me to explore the deeper parts of me that, when I really think about, take too much work, too much time, the healing comes too slowly. So I avoid it all together. I begin to shut down emotionally, and even spiritually.

But God wants to go there with me. He doesn’t mind taking the time. And He is teaching me what it means to live from my heart. There was a point in reading this book where I began to think about holding my heart in my hand, out in front of me, and letting it lead me, because, as Eldredge aptly proves, our heart is good. It has been redeemed, is no longer a heart of stone, but is now a heart of flesh. I’m teaching in class the other day, and I paused, mentally, as I was moving on to another point, and I remember breathing deeply, and thinking on my heart, and on it’s connectedness to God. I was flooded with deep peace in an instant, as all the reasons for teaching and living just became very clear. Those thing are in my heart, and if I don’t think about them, then life remains that much more mundane and meaningless. I hold my heart out in front of me, and I ask, “Father, where are you now? Father, I trust you to protect my heart. I don’t have to guard it. Even if it gets hurt, I know you will heal it, and that the hurt was only there to make me stronger. Father, here is my heart. Lead it, guide it, heal it, strengthen it. Prepare it for war. Prepare it for You.”

It’s hard. I think I shut down without even realizing it. And then I wake up one day, and think, “Enough of this! I don’t want to be shut down any more.” So where do I go? Right back where I left off – exploring those deep reaches of my heart that need reaching. And He leads and guides and reveals.

A good friend just bought me Eldredge’s first big hit – Wild at Heart. And Eldredge grabbed me immediately on the second page. He was out in the wilderness on a 4 day trek by himself. Why? To find his heart.

It’ll take more than four days though. I think it’ll take the rest of my life.


3 comments on “Living from the Heart

  1. At Eyes & Wings conference this week, Heather Clark led a song she wrote recently:

    “I will pray as if heaven is open; Love like I’ve never been betrayed; Thirst like I’ve never seen the desert.”

    Looking for the actual lyrics (it’s a brand new song) I bumped into this quote from CS Lewis in the Four Loves:

    Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket–safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.

    Both of these seem (to me) related to your quest, your desire to courageously put your heart out there.
    I know you as a heart person, not a mind person – which some might think, oh, it will be easy for him, he feels so easily, he has no problem letting his emotions out, he’s not one of those stiff formal men who can’t respond.

    But I suspect that those who feel, then must deal with feeling. As you say, one can withdraw and just slightly avoid, move a little to the side, not quite shut down or pull back… just become hesitant. Shielded.

    Love like you’ve never been betrayed.

    God give you the courage to find your heart.

  2. Not only have we all been hurt, but we have also hurt others. I shudder to think that some casual remark that I have made flippently, carelessly, ignorantly, would haunt the psyche of a friend, a loved one, or even my own child. And yet I know almost without a doubt that I have made such remarks, and I will make such remarks, because I am human. But as I learn to extend grace to myself, knowing that I can be so careless and thoughtless, it becomes easier to extend that grace outward, to forgive those who have trespassed against me. Because I know that the speaker probably had no concept of how deep their wounds would go, how hard it would be for me to heal. It was probably a careless remark.
    That revelation, for me, has made all the difference in the world.
    Nice to see you posting again… 🙂

  3. BTW, Darren, my xanga has changed to to SmallStillVoice. You might want to update your link. Then again, you might not.. 🙂

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