See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness.
Hebrews 3:12-13It's the tale tell sign.
It's when I know my heart is starting to wander a bit. When my focus is skewed. When my walk is meandering.
It's how I know.
It's when I get a little brittle, a little stony.
My heart is no longer a soft place to land.
I confuse it sometimes for strength. I say that I'm tough, that I can weather the storm. I jut out the rigid chin of my soul and bask in my independence.
But it's not rugged strength.
It's the dense deceitfulness of sin, posing as autonomy, faking fortitude.
I sometimes allow that wall of weakness to be raised, a self-constructed attempt to buffer the jabs and jousts this world brings against the softness of the soul. I see through worldly eyes the challenges, the pain, the questions, the doubt. And in allowing that vision to form, the deception, the duplicity begins to harden my heart.
And I wade in again to a sea of self-protection, an attempt to keep the difficult, the messy, the confusing compartmentalized into an illusion of control.
The opposite of faith.
A deceitfulness of sin.
The sin of hanging on to illusions of self-determination. The sin of trying to manipulate God through behavior, self-righteousness, point systems. The sin of keeping up appearances instead of looking for His appearing.
The chicanery of command.
But my given mandate is to remain tender. To see the hurts of this world and to allow it to soak into the plowed furrows of my heart. To hear the cries of a fallen world and to let it become the discordant symphony that motivates me, moves me. To walk the battlefields of the war for eternity and to tend the wounded, the lost, the weary.
To be moved by the very things that moved Jesus to the cross.
To be moved to tears by the very things that that became His heart's cry.
To remain tender in a hard world.
A soft place for the wounded to land.
The extraordinary cushion of the softness of the saved soul.