Tuesday, July 31, 2012

"please, stir my heart..."

“Please stir my heart.
Take me back to the fire.
And bring to me
recollections of joy,
renew my first desire...”

Listening to Sara Groves' "Stir My Heart" tonight made me think about John's admonition to the church at Ephesus, in the book of Revelation:

“I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience
and hast borne, and hast patience,
and for my name's sake hast laboured,
and hast not fainted.

Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee,
because thou hast left thy first love...”

I think this is my greatest hope...that I never leave my "first love." Sara's song speaks to that desire. It is a prayer that God will send me whatever reminder I need to "not forget." Whatever "fire" will burn away the chaff of self-satisfaction, self-certainty, and self-righteousness, to reveal my childlike "first love" for my Father's face...in all things.

I think of sweet Peter...so sure of his love for the Christ, and yet when given the opportunity to stand with the Master, he denies him thrice. What sorrow he must have felt...what desire for "another chance."

And Jesus, the man whose affections defined "love," knows Peter's heart. He knows the fervency of Peter's desire to prove his fidelity to his "first love," and in one of his last human acts of supreme compassion, he asks Peter,

“Simon, son of Jonah,
lovest thou me,
more than these?”

And in doing so, he gives Peter the greatest gift...the one that will change the course of Peter's life from one of self-doubt, self-loathing, and regret, to a life of fidelity to his "first love."

And Jesus not only asks him once, but three times...he gives him the opportunity to redeem each of the three denials fully and faithfully. And then he tells him how he can prove his love -- to "feed my sheep."

Isn't this what we all want most? To be able to affirm our faithfulness to our "first love," if we have become distracted or have strayed? And then to be given a practical way to live, and prove, that faithfulness wholeheartedly. What divine kindness...what an act of grace.

There is something so powerful about this song. It illustrates what Mary Baker Eddy refers to as:

"...the struggle for recourse to the spiritual..."

And I believe that it is this realignment with our "first love," our original love, our eternal, and preternatural love for our Father-Mother God that brings us that deep, core, primordial peace we all long for in the most primitive parts of our being.

So when, as Mary Baker Eddy suggests in Miscellaneous Writings:

The human heart, like a feather bed, needs often to be stirred,
sometimes roughly, and given a variety of turns, else it
grows hard and uncomfortable whereon to repose."

I pray with Sara's song:

“Please stir my heart.
Take me back to the fire.
And bring to me
recollections of joy,
renew my first desire...”

with a fervent hope,


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