What does the presidential inauguration have to do with opening our hearts? Is your heart writhing in fear over the new president or do you have a sense of peace?

A little over a week ago our country welcomed a new president. Many watched the inauguration cheering from their couches or jeering the demise of our country. I did neither. I am not political in the sense that I will share my views on this page or throughout social media. However, I want to spend time today digging into our hearts and the longing for more as we look to the future.

There is a quote floating around from the inaugural speech. It says, “when you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.” It is this quote that has left me wondering about the heart matters that we face as we move forward as a country.

If I am honest, I am a middle of the road girl. I try not to veer too far in either direction because in my mind that leaves me open for confrontation. Harsh words and saying whatever is on our mind with no regard for anyone else does not fly with me. It is this truth about me that makes me hesitant to open my heart. The thought of you misunderstanding or misconstruing my words makes me shudder. When you open your heart to receiving words and actions that fill the crevices, your defenses either rise or crumble.

[Tweet “When you open your heart’s crevices to everyone’s words, your defenses either rise or crumble. “]

My heart hurts and desperation for peace among all parties is my greatest wish. Social media provides an avenue for speaking out, but is a hotbed of hurtful words. This causes me to scratch my head in unbelief. My theme this week is working on our hearts and changing our unbelief by seeking God’s truth, not the world’s. Sounds easy doesn’t it? I know it’s not.

When I first read the quote “when you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice”, I didn’t believe it. Maybe our view of patriotism is skewed or we don’t believe we are prejudiced, but both exist in some form. Getting to the root of heart matters will take more than one blog post. I am not debating this but want to understand why we immediately rally around one side or another. Is one right and the other wrong? My heart carries the hurts of many with the hopes I can fix it. I know I can’t. But there is One who left us with gifts of love and grace. As Beth Moore says, “If an indivisible Savior on an indestructible cross is the beauty in the ugliness of division, this is surely redemption: what flesh had divided, the Spirit multiplied.”

You might say I live in a fantasy world, but God proves over and over that truth is not in the sharing of hateful words but is speaking in love. Paul describes this love in 1 Corinthians 13.  Without this love we are not fully known. Christ desires for us to be known in and through Him. My son, Daniel articulates it like this:

Expressing our unity in the Holy Spirit through love is the testimony that we ultimately live under a different kind of rule and under a different kind of Lord. He is the Christ who calls us to a paradigm of living that doesn’t merely look after its own interests, “but also for the interests of others.” This paradigm of living, in short, is the kind of love Paul speaks of in 1 Corinthians 13. And this paradigm of living is what the Philippians were called to have among each other because it was the “attitude of Christ Jesus.”

When you open your heart, the door swings wide for everything to walk through. The good, bad and the ugly doesn’t discriminate. Instead we need to seek the filter to view it all through. May you look today at ugliness as scars that God can heal, hate as an emotion that God redeems and anger that diffuses when surrounded by love.

I will be praying these words for all of you this week:

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had,  so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Romans 15:4-6

May God’s blessings fill your week!

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