- Religion and Philosophy
The Smiling Heart
" This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it."
- Psalm 118:24 NIV
Stronger Than Dirt
After the mist had watered the ground, before any herb or shrub had sprouted, a bit of earth was taken and shaped, fashioned by God's own hand, and it was just a shape until God breathed into it, giving it life, setting its heart beating. This was the same breath that had moved over the waters, the fearful deep, just before God said, "Let there be light." It was good. This finely crafted form, this fine piece of work, was now a living being, a human. Filled with the breath - the spirit and the light, is humanity, you and me, us. From humus to humans, it is good.
This is a creation of a sort. But the spirit that moved over the waters, and the light that was introduced into the void, existed forever. Now they are being shared by us, humankind.
We learn of these things from a story written long ago. The story had a purpose, which was to convey truths - truths about reality, and truths about humanity's place in reality, truths about our collective nature. And behind it all is the eternal spirit and light that is God.
Its About Time
Like the light and the spirit, there is a timelessness to these truths. It has taken an almost unimaginable length of time for humanity's formation to unfold, but in the backdrop of forever, it is only a breath. Creation happens.
Every day is a day is a day of creation; it exists in every moment, Within each breath lies the good and the light, the spirit of creation. And inside every heartbeat lies the joy and the gladness of creation. God is forever. God is now.
There are many different ideas concerning the purpose of all this creation, but what may be a little clearer is humanity's role in it. For starters, we can rejoice, bringing all that good stuff, God's spirit and light, into the present, into our everyday worlds, for it is God's spirit and light that we are made of; we are full of it, so to speak. The idea is to let it out, to let it flow.
The Universal Translator
Behind the truth, the light, and the spirit, is God and God's love. And when it comes to love, we often think of the heart. All the goodness that is breathed into us seems to migrate there, and as this good stuff keeps coming, we cannot help but to share it, to let it flow, allowing it to connect to all the good that flows from the hearts of others, and the good that exists in God's good world. This wordless timeless love flows to us, into our hearts, then flows out from us in the form of loving thoughts and feelings, loving words and actions. We do and speak of good things; we think and feel good things. We are kind and understanding; we share the love, and we feel the love. And our hearts smile. We are deeply grateful for this, and our hearts smile some more. And so do we.
There are times when it feels as if our hearts are finding it difficult to smile. the spirit and the light is nowhere to be found. Joy is hard to come by; worries and maladies abound. These feelings are real, just as real as the clay we were formed from, and the dust that we trod upon. But the clay and the dust are of the earth, which is also a part of creation, the creation that is good. It is a wonderful world out there but we do not always feel it. All this talk about spirit and light, goodness and love, does not seem to coincide with the harsh realities of life. It may even be untrue.
The Truth Is Out There
With a little faith, we can see the truth. With a little faith we can feel the love. Faith is opening our minds, becoming one with our open hearts. Faith is turning our heads, our minds, towards every little bit of goodness that we encounter, and any little bit of good feelings that we experience. We acknowledge these things as being real, just as real as our hardships. So we reach out to them, never turning away, always expecting them. Faith is doing all we can to help others smile, helping them to feel good. Faith is also letting go, which is trusting, trusting in God and the love that is continuously streaming into our hearts. Once again, we cannot help but to smile and let our love flow out from us, as it continues to flow to us.
The Woes Of The World
We often experience problems in our lives, frustrations and disappointments, worries and fears. These things can be overwhelming at times. And they can be compounded by the often scary state of the world today. These things are real. But love is also real. It may be time to, once again, reach out to the good things. In the meantime, like our problems sometimes can be, the woes of the world are many. They are legion.
We may sometimes have trouble finding the love inside us, and the good in the world, and we may tend to blame the world for our problems, and blame God for the woes of the world. And ther is always that tendency to blame others for all of it. But with our faith and our trust, we know that God loves us, as God so loves the world.
So we turn to Jesus, whose heart is always open, His love always flowing. His love is of the feel good kind; it has the power to dissolve all woes. But our problems can be difficult to let go of, so we reach out to Jesus, and find that at the very least, they can be greatly diminished, broken to pieces and scattered, or broken into pieces that can be more easily dealt with, piece by piece. We become less overwhelmed, more focused, as we continue to break them up further, perhaps enough to be able to cast them over the cliff into God's sweet river, where they become nothing. The power of Christ, the love of Christ, is a power that the woes of the world is no match for. We think about these things, and we smile. And so do our hearts.
In Our Right Minds
Being in our right minds is having our hearts smiling. Through Jesus Christ, our burdens are lightened, as we sit, and we breath, and we smile. We are free. We are saved.
Us And Them
There are other times, when our hearts do not seem to be smiling. This is not because of our own problems or maladies; it is because of our feelings that are something other than love, towards others. They may be people that we encounter everyday, or people from far away, people who are different. And there are those who are not so very different, who profess similar ideas about God and love, but may not be entirely on the same page as we. We make separations, deciding who is worthy and who is not, who is saved and who is not. It is at these times when we may not be fully in our right minds. It is difficult to smile and to have harsh feelings towards others at the same time. But smiling is more natural, the way to be. So there is no need to fear, for humility is here.
With our faith and trust, we turn to Jesus, who reminds us of God's wishes that we love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We are to love God. We are humbled by the great power that is God's love. It is not for us to decide who is saved, or to assume that there may be those who are not. We do not make separations in humanity. It is all us. And our hearts smile.
Don't Forget To Remember
Reaching out is reaching forward and taking steps in that direction. It is also remembering. With our faith and trust, we remind ourselves of the truth of God's love. We remind ourselves to act in loving ways towards ourselves and others. There may be times when all this remembering may seem to be somewhat too much to think about, too many words. So we let go. We become quiet; we become still. And the timeless, wordless love of Jesus Christ flows to us. This is sometimes all we need to remember. This is all we need to know.
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Did any part of this article bring a smile to your face?
© 2016 Paul K Francis