Session 9

Matters of the Heart (Part 1)

Read Proverbs 4:23,

In my early twenty’s I had the privilege of managing a specialty boutique store in town. The owners of the boutique were full of kindness, compassion and generosity that made working for them easy. They cheered me on with my college courses, always asked about my fiancé and worked around my school schedule.  They even poured into us as a new couple. In spite of having a toddler, owning a small business, and the wife battling MS, they mentored us through the purchase of our first home, and helped us with wedding decisions. Two months into our marriage, the owners had to break the news they were closing the store.  This was our first speed bump. I was still trying to settle my major at school. The current university had NO idea how to pair my previous major with the list of majors they offered. And, now I’m losing my job, with no idea where to get a new one?  

But the owners were there to help.  The whole time I worked for them they always talked about the value of being a substitute teacher, she herself was a certified teacher.  However, there was a problem; the idea or mention of me working with children brought belly laughs from all who knew me, “her with kids?”, “No way, she’s not responsible enough”, “she can’t do it”, “she doesn’t have the patience.”  {bwhahahahahah}. Even my friends in high school would laugh out loud if someone mentioned me being a teacher. Babysitting or working with kids, it was understood I was incapable of working with children. But the owners must have seen something in me no one else saw, including me.  They were persistent that I give it a try. Her son’s school was hiring, and she suggested I fill out an application and give it a chance. So, I did, and wouldn’t you know it, I got an interview.  The owner coached me through all the things to say. She helped me understand all the questions they might ask, and on to the interview I went.  Then I got the call, the other person they were planning to hire couldn’t take the job, “you’re the last choice, but you have the job”.

Ya’ll, I knew nothing about kids at this point, but it was the door that opened. What did I have to lose?  So, on to this uncharted territory I went.  My first day in class, I fell in love with each of those kids. Interacting with them was natural. I could understand their needs, help them communicate, and make them feel comfortable. I could get them to follow directions, teach them new things, and at the end of the day, though tired, I was energized.  God had given me a heart for kids.

So, what is heart?

The Hebrew word for heart in Proverbs 4:23 is Lev, it’s a noun that has ten different descriptions- 1. Inner part, midst a.) midst of thing, b). heart {of man}, c.) soul, heart, d.) mind knowledge, thinking, reflection, memory, e.) inclination, determination, f.) conscience, g.) heart (character), h.)as seat of appetites i.) seat of emotions & passions, j.) seat of courage.  Brown Driver-Brigss. Hebrew and English Lexicon of the Old Testament, abridged by Larry Pierce. Sourced from Tyndale House, Cambridge.

So, what is heart?

It’s the central part of you.  The soul that holds the passion for what you do. The desire to keep doing something long after you’re tired. The ability to participate in something that energizes you even if it exhausts you. It’s the lens with which you remember your experiences and take in new knowledge. It’s the epicenter of your interaction with others.

Have you ever had someone say you really have a heart for….and fill in the blank, one of mine is young children.  Or have you found yourself saying you just don’t have the heart for… and fill in the blank, mine is spreadsheets and math.

How about you?

What do people say you have a heart for?

How do you define heart?