My heart is open to thee.
Having a heart open to God is a major inconvenience. I can’t pursue my own ends to the exclusion of those around me, and I question the ends I would pursue. There is no way I can act as if my ends justify my means, especially when the spirits of others and the entire created world live with the consequences, always and everywhere. With an open heart, I live with the sure and complete knowledge that God’s love for others equals God’s love for me, and that God will provide a way for me to walk kindly through the places and years given to me. But it’s a lot of work and little glory, living with a heart that sees what is good: and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8). So I don’t live with a heart open to God most of the time. It’s why I have to pray for it; I can’t do this without God. An open heart is a gift and a responsibility, loving world and self with every talent and shortcoming, through intentional action and purposeful inaction.
The psalmist put it in these words: Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me (Ps. 51:10). I know enough to be careful what I pray for, because I’ll surely get it. It won’t look the way I expect it to – God is constant, but not predictable. And not hindered by my lack of imagination. Then I can’t pretend I don’t know the truth: the life God has given me isn’t just sufficient, it’s extraordinary and holy.