70 times 7

child with heart

Then Daddy , hear from heaven your dwelling place, and FORGIVE US and render to each of us whose HEART YOU KNOW, according to all our ways for , you , you only know the HEARTS of your CHILDREN                                      2 Chronicles 6:30

“It changed my heart” said my Roman Catholic sister .

“Really, it changed my heart ” Kate said as she held her fist over her the sweater.

Her sweater was clinging to her shirt; her shirt clinging to her skin; and her skin  was sealing  all the tissue and bones  that covered her heart.

” How deep the heart is hidden within us” I thought as her fist bounced against her chest.

” It’s a lot of layers to go through to get to this matter of a heart “, I thought.

“you know what I am saying don’t you?” Kate spoke like a teacher making sure  I understood her.

Yet, today outside Kate’s church, it was strange to hear Kate speak. She was not at all speaking in the position or role of a teacher, she was speaking as a sister.

Years ago, I had  been the one learning from her about the ways of the heart. Today, after mass, we were students together with the same teacher. Jesus.

“I remember what you said about the heart ” she said to me.   I felt uncomfortably forgetful of what I had said. She spoke softly  outside  the entrance of her church.

Kate whispered her story . She paused at the conflict in the story to say, ” Vanessa, I had to forgive this person who hurt me deeply by things they said” Kate looked as if  this work called “forgive”  had been the greatest effort of her heart . Face at rest now, she spoke words of an attack on her heart. She spoke  as if she had been assaulted and immobilized by an enemy and  and somehow set alive and free by an angel.

She looked as  if this enemy of the heart ,unforgiveness,  had tried to deface the beauty and strength of her heart .(1) Speaking moment by moment of the crippling thoughts of self justification and rehearsed hurt, Kate spoke like a burglar had entered  the peaceful home of her heart. It was as if this thief, unforgiveness, did not knock loudly or ask for an invite, but instead, pushed and  bolted through every layer of defense into Kate’s heart.  Once in,  it sounded as if it tied her whole being to a post leaving it immobile with strings of anger and bitterness and distrust trailing her every move. (2)  But now, now, while words spoke of war, her face spoke peace. 

 She looked as if something had freed her.   Unforgiveness must have been  violently evicted from her heart.  Perhaps now,   every  bitter string was running homeless in the dust , unattached and powerless .

There was no damage to Kate from this Unforgiveness. In fact she looked like the day I first met her 15 years ago. Fifteen years ago, I was a student and she, a teacher. On that day,  Kate was  pointing to a picture of and anatomical heart on a large news print paper flip chart. The chart was set on a easel in a small classroom. All this was arranged down a long hall  in a large hospital. Tall was the easel next to Kate. Petite and precise was Kate  presenting the working of God’s magnificient creation: the heart of a human.  Snuggly, chair against chair fit while many new eager nurses fixed their eyes on Kate.  Late to the class, I anxiously looked for a seat.

“Right here Vanessa”  Kate’s voice was kind as she read my name tag and gracefully waved her hand to an open seat.

She continued teaching as I took a seat,”The heart has both mechanical functions and electrical functions” “injuries and assaults to either function can change the heart”  She then began to draw a dark spot on the upper portion of a sketched  heart as she explained different factors that could hurt the heart.   Elegant her voice and hands as they together emphasized each word. Urgent her every expression. She spoke as if it really were a matter of life and death this thing called “the heart” of man.  Every sense of each student  was pulled to engage its attention towards this magnificent master organ: . Eyes following hands, ears capturing words  . . you could almost see and hear the life of a HEARTBEAT in the room.

heart

“you see an injury here can affect the whole electrical and mechanical system of the heart and that is where you develop arrhythmias”. “an arrythmia is anything that is not the ‘normal”syned fuction of the heart.’ Kate explained.

“yes ” I awoke from my memory of our first meeting  to answer Kate

” are you hearing me Vanessa ?”Kate prodded.

” Oh yes Kate it so has that affect  . .It messes up our rhythem. ”

“That’s it ” she said with excitement. Her tone was like the  “aha” of a student .  Like the “ahas” she had  produced in  me so many times.

I looked at her hand remain over her heart.  She was no longer speaking of hearts of the flesh of man. Fifteen years later, She was now standing before me speaking of another heart.  She was speaking of how Unforgiveness affects the conduction and function of the heart in the soul of man.

” When I let what they said about me hurt me really deeply, I noticed I was thinking about it all the time. The, I found I spoke about it often. So often I brought up the hurt that you would think they were hurting me everyday.  But the worst part for me was when I saw my husband felt the  hurt for me as well! Suddenly , he was unforgiving too! I was spreading the injury!”(3)

Her hand remained over her heart. ” Hurt.” My mind meandered again to my first day with Kate.

The classic symptom is “chest pain” Kate explained to the novice nurses. “Every patient describes their hurt differently” Kate would say.  With a  MI, a myocardial infarction, an assalt and injury due to lack of blood supply to a particular section of the heart. The injury could have tissue proximal to it die as well . The infarction could spread affecting one, at worst, unto death, or, at least, in rate and rhythm of life.

How much the same is the heart of the soul of man, I have thought. Perhaps the heart of the soul gets a particular injury from the words of another. Perhaps it shuts off the blood supply of Jesus to a particular part of the heart of the soul.  Perhaps then we experience an excruciating pain.. it is accepting the judgement of another and letting it lodge like a clot into our heart. It causes an infarction  of a tender beating heart. It changes its rhythym, it interrupts its flow, it hinders its function. Then, quickly, a section of our heart  dies . And like a necrosis, bitterness comes  spreads to kill another section till we lay almost dead .Dead hearted. And  then, deadhearted and diseased, we spread our unforgiveness to anyone nearby.

” so I took what was read in mass and I truly believed what Jesus said” Kate dropped her hand from her chest reaching towards me.

‘I hope you learned something ” she had said in class as I left that day. The day along time ago when I was  an infant in faith and so innocent of injury.

Remembering my own  assaults to the heart of my soul, every sense from that moment  was captured as I looked at Kate. I could almost taste and smell death of the heart of our souls.Chest pain. Chest pain. . .  I could hear men yell and defend their heart and women whine and deny their heart. So the heart of the soul worked  like the heart of the flesh when injured and it strained in agonal beats . . . .

When an infarction occurs, if the blood supply is cut off ,more and more of the heart will die” I remember Kate say

” I remember you said that ‘without his word you would die'” she said to me. I jostled away from my dreaming analogy. Suddenly,  it felt as if she was eavesdropping into my thoughts.

“What was that Kate?” I asked ”

you said ” The Word gave you Life”. she replied to me.

Kate continued ” So I took the reading of Matthew 18:22. . . . where Jesus tells Peter to forgive 70 times 70 and everytime my thoughts beat a unforgiving note, I forgave. . it was at least 70 times 7 “. She smiled and thumped her fist in her hand beating it rhythmically, and now here I am”

“In CPR we mimic the rhythm  of the heart at least 100 beats a minute. . .60 – 90 is a normal beat But if we want to perfuse the heart in our compressions we must pump more,. we must keep it alive’ Kate had taught me.

“forgive us as we forgive” I would say to myself over and over, Kate explained.

Lub Dub, Lub Dub . .Kate spoke the sound of the heart.

“I said it over and over again.” Kate repeated

Lub Dub Lub Dub. . . a heart beating. . .you must do compression to the rhythm of the song “Staying Alive”. . press, press,press, staying alive , staying alive.

” soon , I was free of all that hurt Vanessa. Even more, I was not speaking against them but loving them. It is life.!!! Truly life what is said here” Kate pointed through the door to the pulpit of her church. Then  she pointed to the Bible I held against my chest.

Behind Kate hung  A large banner . On the banner was  a picture of the large hand of Jesus, reaching down to a bended woman. Written around the picture were words proclaiming “the year of Mercy” in her church.  It spoke of an open door of Mercy for all. It spoke of the Year of Jubilee.

More vibrant than the banner, louder than any words was Kate. The banner looked ever so lifeless and dim behind her radiance. The picture of Jesus’s hand seemed invisible against a visible hand on Kates heart. Oh but  how vast this hand that guards and holds our hearts!!  It has rescued us from death and hell, it has synced us  into a perfect rhythm of Life. And life to the fullest !. It had resuscitated Kate  with a  word.  The banner seemed merely an advertisement for a year of hearts such as hers.

Return oh heart to your healer. Hear His Word and you will be healed of hurt and you will Forgive as He has for given you!

  1. As in water face reflects face, so the heart of man reflects the man” Proverbs 27:19  ESV http://bible.com/59/pro.27.19.esv a womans beauty is found in the hidden person of the heart . But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit which in God’s sight is very precious. 1 Peter 3:4 ESV http://bible.com/59/1pe.3.4.esv
  2. And in anger his master delivered him TO THE JAILERS, until he should pay all his debt. So also my heavenly Father will do to everyone of you  if you do not forgive your brother from your heart. Matthew 18:34-35 http://bible.com/59/mat.18.34-35.esv Jesus tell us that unforgiveness is like a “jailer” binding us into greater debt, the one we owe our Father for all of our unrighteousness.
  3. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness, All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person “ Mark 7:21-22 ESV http://bible.com/59/mrk.7.21-22.esv

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Planting : Good Friday 2016

girl with shovel

See to it sister that “you do not fail to obtain the grace of God: that no ‘root of bitterness’ spring up and cause you trouble . . . forgive as you have been forgiven by Christ so that you will not be outwitted by Satan. . . cause we ain’t ignorant of his designs” Hebrews 12:15 & 2 Corinthians 2:10,11

 We plant forgiveness and we wait for love to bloom. I waited a year to see the fruit of forgiveness. Now , today ,almost to the date of my planting with Jesus , I hear a pleasant report. Therefore I repost this blog as a true testimony that when you forgive as He is forgiving  you, you will surely see the blooms of the resurrection of Love in your midst!

The Big Sister’s call

Hurry , my sister it’s Spring , it’s Spring!!

Put that Stoney thing in the dirt

For We must run and sing!!

Get Shovel, Get Hoe

Lest that Bitter Thing grow!

Put that Stoney Thing in the dirt

Lest the Devil soon sow!!

 

The Little Sister’s cry

But Sister, Sister , it stings, it stings

So it never will ever feel like spring!

I’ve a wound so tender , like a boulder at my core!

No friend , no doc, no priest could speak to a thing so sore!

Or release this Stone that the Enemy threw to settle a score!

No Goliath with gall, or David with sling, or Samson so tall or Peter could bring

My heart to be healed from the hurt of this damn Stoney thing!!

The Big Sister’s call

But Sister, but Sister, it’s Spring!!

Now put that Stoney thing in the dirt!

So you can laugh and sing!

Get shovel, Get hoe

Lest that Bitter thing grow!

Put that Stoney thing in the dirt

Lest far away your heart go

 

The Little Sister’s cry

But Sister, Sister, it stings, it stings

And now there is no longer hope for my Spring

For I claim this wound as a part of my being

And I strive no more for hearing and seeing!

So many ask me “how have you been”

I just reply “I feel the effects of sin”

I carry the stone daily like a cross on my back

I sleep with it nightly tucking it in dreams and pillow sacks!

My soul never considers what it has but always talks of what it lacks.

The Big Sister’s Call

Oh Sister, dear Sister, it’s Spring

Put that stoney thing in the dirt

So you may dress in robe and ring!

Get shovel, get hoe

Lest that bitter thing grow

Put that Stoney thing in the dirt!

Perhaps to church you should go!

The Little Sister’s Cry

But Sister, Sister , in church it will stink!

I am dead like Lazarus with no life of my own to bring!

Might it stink when I bring it to others to be buried?

Besides, I have much to prove now and my time is quite harried!

It is best dear sis that I pretend it not there!

Besides, this stone on my heart is really no ones care.

Perhaps heaven will own it if I ever get there.

The Big Sister’s Plea

Oh Sister, Stubborn Sister, come out into Spring

Put that Stoney thing in the dirt

And Let Jesus do a Resurrection thing!

Get shovel, Get hoe

Lest that Bitter thing grow

Put that Stoney thing in the dirt

Let your Spirit yield and your Pride forgo!!

The Little Sister’s Fear

But Sister, my Sister, I will be all alone

As I rip away from my heart this UNFORGIVING STONE

And I cry out to Jesus “If only you were home!!?”

Oh Sister, your prayers cause me to quiver with this shovel and hoe in hand

You are speaking strange words in a tongue I do not understand

Oh sister , Oh Sister will I be all alone?

The Big Sister prophesies

Sweet sister, Sweet Sister, See He is your Spring!!

When you put that Stoney thing in the dirt , watch a LILLIE HE BRING

How free you will be and a new song you will sing

and then,  . my Sister You WILL KNOW HE is SPRING!

The Little Sister Laments as Jesus Plants

Oh Sister , O Sister, Look now He weeps on my Heart!

The stone falls off gently , from tender edges it parts.

He lays it deep in the dirt of HIS EMPTY GRAVE!!

And grave side He calls me “child” no longer “slave”

Oh sister, O sister, why so long did I wait?

Holding tight to this hurt and bound to it’s hate?!!

I hurt Him so deeply with this stone on my heart!!

It is buried today Sister, forever to depart!!

Frog and the Face of Jesus

20150811-122737.jpgHe had no form or majesty that we should look at him and no beauty that we should desire Him, He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. BUT he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities. Upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and WITH HIS WOUNDS WE ARE HEALED  (ESV) Isaiah 53:2, 5

For God , who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the GLORY  OF GOD IN THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST” ESV 2 Corinthians 4:6

“Aint nobody going to the park today . You might as well stay home.” the old brother said , looking down unto me while I was tying my shoes.

“I told you boy, there are always three folks there! ” I said as I looped the last lace. Then bouncing on both feet I held up four fingers “Daddy, Jesus, the Holy Ghost and me!”

“you mean one folk .” he said shaking his head and walking away .

“NO , NO , No! ” I said jumping up and down ” There are three in one!! Daddy , Jesus and the Holy Ghost !! ”

The old brother turned quickly . “Well, I’m just sayin. . . . if you go and you are all alone out there you might get hurt. . . .like Gerald said. . . maybe by one of them jitterbugs .” he warned.

I pounded my chest showing that my heart was not hurt anymore. There was no sting.  I was healed of the jitterbug bite in the night.  “See. . .. Lookie, ” I said ” I’m all dressed for the park” I stood before the brother touching my head, my chest my waist,  my feet.  I had the whole armor on for the first time in my life. Then , picking up Daddy’s book , I said ” And watch out I got a weapon !!” With my bible in my hand , I marched to the park.

Soon , while walking down the road, my mind started swirling with thoughts of the jitterbug, The Enemy. . . the enemy,. I thought about how much he hurt folks. How he hogtied them and dragged them through slop like sheep to be slaughtered . I thought bout how folks nowadays were cryin’ and dyin’, moanin’ and groanin’. How every brothers and sister I knew was either hit by the Enemy or was watching how The enemy hit others. Even our brother, Pastor Chris,  would  steady say that folks were all lookin  either “busted or disgusted”. It was all you could see everywhere. All you could see was the bite and bruises  on folks attacked by this faceless foe.

“There is so much damage Daddy” I cried running into another  house on my way to the park      .” Who will fix all this hurt Daddy” I fell to my knees and I looked up . As I looked up,  I saw a picture. It was a picture someone had painted of Jesus’s face.

20151208-103843.jpg

When I looked at the picture, I remembered what Daddy said about Jesus’s face. He said that It was so very different than any other face.  He said it was marred  and not majestic , a face so scary that  we would want to hide our face from it” and yet. . . .”  Daddy  says that this  face is the “radiance of His glory”  He says real boldly to me,” though they spit on this  face , This  face , His face, would heal every person that looked at Him”

“Jesus show your face in the park today “, I prayed

Frog  came very late. We had all been singing and reading Psalm 34 when frog came.  Marilyn had  already shared a picture of how Daddy works in the night to heal us from all them jitterbug bites.  I was amazed how she could draw a picture to explain a poem from Daddy’s book.  Everyone was telling how Daddy did wonderful things for us all while  things looked bad all around.  We were all singing and happy with all Daddy’s goodness

.marilyns drawing

But Fog sat sad.   He sat on a bench in the back. His head hung very low below his shoulders.  I thought how his lungs were still  hurt from the jitterbugs.  I started crying for Frog to Daddy. Some other folks started crying too  And when we were crying to Daddy ,  I became certain that  Jesus was looking at Frog , I was so certain , I thought I saw a light shining right over Frogs’s bench.  

As we sang,  The Holy Ghost said ” Go touch Frog” .  I asked some brothers and sisters to go with me, Marilyn, Ann, Barbara,  Joseph, Mary and her friend , all came. As we touched Frog I asked Jesus to turn  His face to us.  Then,  I put my hands on Frogs chest and immediately I felt a light come upon us. “Jesus looks now to heal you ” I said 

I kept watching Frog’s face. I kept hearing brothers and sisters around him say “jesus” “jesus” “Jesus” Slowly Frog’s head lifted, , He looked up past the plywood ceiling , probably looked way past the clouds.Maybe he was seeing Jesus peek through the clouds or ride near us on the clouds. I just know  his head tilted and lifted . . And then, . . . . like a Frog.. . . Like Frog croaking out of deep waters, he shouted “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!!” Then , he stood with arms raised shouting “Thank you Jesus, thank you Jesus” .

Suddenly, I said what I never thought to say.  It was as if the Holy Ghost said it for me: ” we forgive them now, Frog, We forgive the jitterbugs !! The Devil just used them. They were but little darts in his hand.  We forgive them, see we can forgive them . . .. Cause He has forgiven us!!!! We can forgive because  He healed us today!!!” In that moment I forgot every hurt , every sorrow, every pain. FROG AND I WERE HEALED BY THE GLORY OF GOD THROUGH THE FACE OF JESUS CHRIST!!

in the park

THE END. THE AMEN .

Post script: “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self , which is being renewed in KNOWLEDGE AFTER THE IMAGE OF THE CREATOR. .  JESUS .here there is neither  black or white, male or female, BUT CHRIST IS ALL AND IN ALL. SO, then as GOD”S CHOSEN ONES HOLY AND BELOVED, put on compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience, bearing with one another and if one has a complaint against another FORGIVING EACH OTHER AS THE LORD HAS FORGIVEN YOU > ABOVE ALL THESE , PUT ON LOVE WHICH BINDS EVERYTHING TOGETHER IN PERFECT HARMONY. Collossians 3