While lying in bed this morning thinking of the progression of curiosity, it occurred to me that curiosity is impossible without an open heart. Even though that is an obvious sentence, the implications are profound. Following that breadcrumb trail into the forest of my thinking finds the thought that I’m pretty sure I’m open – open-minded, open-hearted, open home…open! And here’s where curiosity kicked in: “Yeah, I am pretty open as a rule. But I wonder where or when I’m not?”
Filtering through different scenarios, I realized that openness (in part) is tied to two ideas that I hadn’t followed quite so far before.
When I’ve been hurt or significantly disappointed by someone, my heart steps back and starts drawing the drapes. Pain is a great deterrent to an open heart. But when pain is met through honest conversation and the exchange of forgiveness, the drapes of my heart slowly open again. But here’s the thing. Forgiveness isn’t always easy – either in the giving or the receiving. Especially when the same thing happens again and again. And then there’s Jesus who says, “Forgive 70 times 7”. Dan Allender said it this way many years ago in class: “Forgiveness is being willing to let yourself be hurt again and again for the sake of good on behalf of another.” All kinds of scenarios come to mind now, many of them beginning with “But what if???” And I realize that my forgiveness and thus my willingness to be open is available if….
Which brings in the second idea. It’s very difficult to be open when I don’t feel safe. Whether trying new ideas, new methods, new ways of doing things, new ways of communicating, or offering a fresh clean slate to one with whom I’ve felt pain – it doesn’t happen often if I don’t feel safe. And deep down, what is the foundation when I don’t feel safe? Usually, I find a breakdown in what I believe about God’s goodness. Is it good of God to ask me to meet people in uncomfortable ways? Is it loving of him to ask me to give and give again when not much has come in return? Is it really his voice whispering to move forward by faith when the way looks so uncertain and dark? Wrestling’s like these turn the curve of my life inward until I’m able to grasp a little bit better, a bit deeper, that God’s goodness does not look like me…it looks like him.
And what does he look like? Ah. Now here’s the crux of the matter. The way we answer this question reveals the extent to which we are open in our dealings with him and others.
As I write this, I find myself longing for a quiet place to think more, feel more, and explore more of this. What about you? If you could “follow the breadcrumb trail through your heart and mind,” where would it take you?