“Oh, I’ve loved you from the start
In every single way
And more each passing day
You are brighter than the stars
Believe me when I say
It’s not about your scars
It’s all about your heart”
– It’s All About Your Heart
Last Saturday, my aunt, Carol Lozano, celebrated her birthday with some friends and the kids of the Real LIFE Foundation. If you haven’t been to a Real LIFE event, make sure you contact Real LIFE at www.igivetolife.com.
While playing with the kids, I told one of the kids to get up from the floor and held my hand out to pull him up. I was caught off guard when the child extended an arm that ended oddly in the palm of my hand. I don’t know what happened but he didn’t have a hand. I took hold of him, lifted him, and walked him to a chair.
Later, while eating, I saw him using his good hand to hold his spoon and his stub to keep his bowl in place. I had a thought, “One doesn’t need two hands to eat. One only needs to be hungry. Success is the same way.”
But then I remembered the story of Nick Vujicic, a man with no limbs, not just no hands, no hands, arms, legs, and feet, and I thought of how many lives he inspires and brings hope to, including mine. I looked at this boy and could feel God speaking to me, “Man looks at the outside. I look at the heart. There are so many limbs out there I can’t use because their hearts are so far. Watch what I can do with when you give me your heart.”
So I sat the boy on my lap, looked him in the eyes, and told him, “You’re going to be a great man someday.” I gripped his stump and continued, “You’re going to be great. Your hands are going to shape the lives of others. Thank you for teaching me something today.” And I thanked God for using this child to remind me of such a fundamental truth of what Christianity means:
A Christian is someone who has a heart that is exclusively offered to God. Man looks at our achievements, our looks, our success, our behaviours. God, who sees EVERYTHING, who does not miss a thing, focuses His sights on our hearts.
I was reminded of a beautiful song I stumbled upon after uncharacteristically purchasing Mindy Gledhill’s album on iTunes. I first liked the song It’s All About Your Heart because it starts off by saying, “I don’t mind your odd behaviour. It’s the very thing I savour.” The people that know me know that I have quite a set of odd behaviours, and I like the idea that someone might not just be able to stand my idiosyncrasies but actually like them.
I also like it because it reminds me of a failed attempt to tell a girl how beautiful she was. At least now, if a similar event ever presents itself I’ll just tell her to play this song. Haha! Sometimes the perfect song comes too late.
Anyway, here’s the song but please read on.
I think too many times, we live out our Christianity trying to prove to others, particularly our “leaders” that we’re Christians. It’s like a guy who spends more time trying to impress everyone he deserves a girl but fails to do the necessary things to win her heart. Guess what the outcome is going to be?
He’s going to lose her – even if he manages to convince everyone else.
It’s the same way for me. If I don’t spend the necessary time with God, if I don’t love Him on my own, in my isolation, in my difficulties, if I don’t spend more time seeking Him, if I spend my time seeking the approval of respectable people, if I waste my time trying to convince everyone and become an example without daily, consistently, truthfully, sincerely spend my energies on having a relationships with God than I am wasting my time.
If I don’t seek Him I will lose Him, not because He remains aloof, but because my heart will inevitably seek something or someone else.
Even if I manage to convince everyone, even if everyone thinks I’m blessed, even if everyone calls me a “leader”, even if I check every box on man’s approval list, if maintain a heart that is still self-centred than I am going to lose.
It’s really that simple.
I’m a very forgetful guy. I’m very forgetful of the fact that I live each day only through the grace of God. I forget that everything I enjoy is His goodness. I forget that everything I don’t enjoy, every worry, fear, pain, is still His grace showing me something, teaching me, moulding my character, teaching me to see past comforts and trappings. It’s still Him reminding me that what is important to Him are not the things people admire, not even the things “Christians” admire. What is important to Him, what He admires, is a heart, broken, whole, wounded, healed, hurting, joyful, in whatever state, offered daily to Him.
Again, I am reminded, “Watch what I can do when you give me your heart.”