As Mary starts “The Wall Around Your Heart” she begins by talking about my life, perhaps she is talking about yours also. She starts out:
I see walls nearly everywhere. Devastation and bitterness in the aftermath of relationship blowups. Folks walking zombie-like after friends betray. People leaving churches because of underhanded remarks. Friends, years in the making, departing as enemies. Hurt people barricading themselves from ever having to feel relational pain again, discovering instead the angst of loneliness behind the barrier. People holding tightly to control, only to see their relational worlds spin into chaos. Others who cannot focus on a task because
of all the conflict hollering around them.
Walls aren’t pretty.
But they’re real.
Oh, how I can relate to those words. I have been that person wondering why friends betray, and I have left the church, and friendships don’t seem to last. I have isolated myself, and felt lonely and unloved. So in the opening paragraph how this book resonates with my life.
The book goes on to say that the type of prayer that Jesus modeled gives us insight to being fully alive. The Lords Prayer will be our treasure map through this book, to help us live open-hearted.
Jesus is our example of openhearted living, of exhibiting wild love that dared to wash the feet of Judas, who betrayed Him, of reinstating Peter, who denied Him thrice. Jesus, in His divine irresistibility, welcomed all, loved all, endured all.
It has been a challenge to me to follow the command in Matthew 22:39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ Why, because to be totally transparent there were many years where I didn’t like myself. If I couldn’t stand me, then how was I to love others. It has taken me many years to learn to love myself. It took a bit longer for me to learn to be loved. I don’t just mean by others either. It took time for me to believe and own that God truly loved me.
Since I know my many relational struggles and since this book also focuses on prayer, and my prayer life was one of my goals for the year, I knew that I would need to read this book. I invite you to come back and join me each Monday as I blog my way through “The Wall Around Your Heart” and begin to live open-hearted.
I am linking up at Flowing Faith, and you can find more posts there on #OpenHeartMondays.
Can you relate?