Recently a woman I know went to the doctor with concerns of a rather serious nature. Women of our age have such things you understand. And hers were real. She's not the sort to call a doctor for every ache and pain. Quite the opposite, really. She'd rather tough it out for the most part. But she couldn't in this situation, so she finally broke down and went to her primary care physician. He listened to her complaints, then did the typical exam one expects in those rooms with one's body more exposed than in real life. It's odd, that a total stranger has so much access to the hidden places on and in our bodies that we barely know ourselves. They have a God-haunted profession, physicians do, acting in His place, so to speak. And we give ourselves over to them, glad to have our fears and worries taken off our shoulders for a moment.
Anyway, after this short exam, this physician sat down on his stool and told this woman, "I'm actually more concerned about your heart than these other issues."
When I talked to her the other day, this short sentence really stuck with me. Of course for her, it sent her on an unexpected trajectory, but that's a little beside the point here (though I will tell you that all things point to a healthy heart for her).
"I'm more concerned about your heart."
What a statement. We often go to the Lord about things that seem so enormous that they threaten to take over our lives like tornadoes, destroying everything in their wake. We cry out from where we've hidden ourselves, asking God to spare us, our health, our loved ones, our things, our...whatever. And of course He listens to us. He hears our every prayer, examines every part, even the hidden places we don't quite know exist about our lives. And then He answers,
"Actually, I'm more concerned about your heart."
It isn't that the worries we take to Him don't matter, it's that He sees them in proportion to the most important thing. Obviously this leads me to the story of Samuel annointing David. Samuel, like Jesse ( and like all of us) didn't consider the possibility of David, the small, youngest, nothing-to-look-at son. Not when there were big, brawny older brothers around. This is so easy to do. But-- "The Lord said to Samuel, "Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things human beings look at. People look at outward appearances, but the Lord looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16: 7
We get caught up in our worries. Think them the big, brawny older brothers of our lives--the primary focus of our lives (and sadly, we even expect the same focus--on our big brother issues--from everyone around us). But God looks at our hearts--for better and worse. And what He sees there is what matters. Therefore, it's the size and health of our hearts to which we should pay most attention. What God wants to do is said best in Ezekiel 36: 26-27, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you. I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh; And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to follow my laws." Yes, our God's in the heart transplant business. It's really His only business. It's what He's always concerned about. Transplanting our stony, selfish hearts and giving us ones that are Spirit-filled, wholly His, and therefore, the mostly truly human hearts possible. Hearts able to love and give and serve and be His ambassadors.