Who Gave You Your Heart?

I am filled with love
As a great tree with the wind,
As a sponge with the ocean,
As a great life with suffering,
As time with death.

-Anna Swir

Oh, the feels. I remember once saying to a priest who wanted me to tell him “what was wrong” how exhausted love had made me. I could feel the need for love emanating from every one of my acquaintances, even strangers, and it had drawn every bit of strength I possessed. He told me to be courageous, and I didn’t really understand how that applied to my situation, but he insisted: “Make little acts of courage, even if it’s just smiling at someone or being unnecessarily kind. And pray for courage at every moment.”

Last night I walked into St. Vincent Ferrer with a mighty case of the feels–over a disappointing set of circumstances that left me frustrated and confused. And once again I brought to God my long-standing complaint: why am I so sensitive, why can’t I just brush things off, why do I feel things so quickly and so much?

The reply, which came loudly, quickly, out of the blue, said, “Who gave you your heart? I made your heart this way! And I have already promised that I will fill it; it will overflow with love.” You, Lord, protected me from my youth, nurtured me in a family that was very loving despite all its flaws, protected me from impurity even in my ignorance. And the times when I have failed you, when I have worshiped idols, you have dragged me, often kicking and screaming, back to the font of your endless mercy.

I can’t use my faith to cushion harsh blows; I can’t lie to myself and say that I feel no pain. And yet last night I was given a glimpse of something I have been promised all along, someone who waits for me. In this long, very cold winter, Jesus still comes, the Lord is coming, the Lord of hearts and wise men and fools. You’ve made me a tinderbox, your very own, and to what heights you will allow the flames to reach I have yet to see.

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4 thoughts on “Who Gave You Your Heart?

  1. Beautifully written, Lauren! I love your epiphany that God gave you your tender heart Lauren and that he fills it with his love. I’m sorry for the disappointment you felt! I understand. I hope you are feeling a little better today and perhaps reading something wonderful to cope. What are you reading these days? Did you watch the latest Downton? Has it been terrifically cold this week in NY?

    I’m in California visiting my brother and his family. My nephew is celebrating his first birthday today. Yesterday his older sister and I made his birthday cake together. It was a special moment for us. I can’t wait to have my own family some day!

    Thanks for sharing your writing and faith. You are not alone when you go out on your own as you are in your faith and writing. There is one who is with you always.

  2. If I knew how I would type you one of those heart things. 🙂 Love this! Signed, Cosmo Queen (I was going to type Queen of Cosmos but that looks too much like a title for someone a tad holier than I…)

  3. Lauren, this is beautiful. And the people who surround you, whose need for love you feel so strongly, aren’t just attracted to you out of their need, but because of your own bounty! Those flames in your heart really do cast light and warmth on the ones who get near you. I like being around God by being around you 🙂

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