Encouragement for the Journey
Greetings Fellow Traveller,
My theme for this week is around the phrase‘the hatching of the heart.’ I offered you this expression sometime last year, alas, some files have disappeared from view in my laptop and I am unable to check back what I wrote. Perhaps that is a good thing, maybe, maybe not. This expression was first used by Frederick Buechner (Presbyterian Minister and Novelist) in his book Godric. I think it is one of the most delightful phrases I have come across in recent years. It kind of encapsulates so much about life and faith.
The human heart is one of the most important and amazing organs in the entire human body. It is really nothing more than a pump, composed of muscle which pumps blood throughout the body, beating approximately 72 times per minute of our lives. The heart pumps the blood, which carries all the vital materials which help our bodies function and removes the waste products that we do not need. The word ‘heart’ appears well over a thousand times in the Bible and may be understood as a metaphor for the self, that part of us that is deep within at a level below our thinking, feeling, intellect and emotions.
The word hatching, evokes images of eggs slowly cracking, then a beak appears and finally a little chick emerges from the egg. This is also a metaphor for how we may live the Christian journey. At times you and I may live within a protective shell. We close our selves off from each other, creating an illusion that it is safer to be there then engage with another human traveller. From my own experience, there are times when I know my heart is open and when it is closed. When my heart is closed, I seek to shrink within my shell, this may happen when I am tired, anxious about things, or when I am grumpy and short tempered becoming critical of myself and others. In these times, I need the hatching of my heart, to again be open to myself and others.
The hatching of the heart enables us to being open with God. In opening ourselves to God, the sacred Mystery, we break free, from the confines of our protective shells. We stand in the light, to love and be loved with ourselves and others. I leave you with these words from Dag Hammarskjold Secretary General of UN
Give us pure hearts, that we may see you;
Humble hearts that we may hear you;
Hearts of love, that we may serve you.
Hearts of faith, that we may abide in you.
Meanwhile Peace in the Hatching of the Heart Alf