What's In Your Heart?

By Alyce McKenzie

Valentine’s Day is coming up soon. Since I still haven’t gotten my Christmas cards out (I did take the tree down), I am thinking of making them into Valentine’s Day cards and pretending this is an intentional strategy on my part to express my love to my friends and family. They aren’t printed yet, so I could easily change the holly and ivy border to a row of hearts.

Speaking of hearts, remember Valentine’s Day in elementary school? Buying the box of valentine’s cards at the grocery store and filling out one for every class member, even the boy who made fun of you for your thick new glasses and later broke your toe (accidentally) playing dodge ball? Remember the little chalky tasting hearts with mushy sayings on them? I guess you weren’t supposed to eat them but to hand them out with your cards. What’s the point of candy if it doesn’t taste good?

Capital One has its slogan “What’s in Your Wallet?” The spiritual question that keeps coming to me this Valentine’s Day is “What’s in your heart?” The Hebrew word for heart (lev) has the connotation of “the authority within.” The heart was regarded as the seat of emotions, but also of will and thought. The heart could be led astray if one allowed the sin that lurks at its door to come inside. As God tells Cain, “Sin is lurking at the door; its desire is for you, but you must master it” (Genesis 4:7).  Once it gets in, it tries to take control of the heart.  But the heart is capable of turning toward God in whole- hearted trust (Proverbs 3:5) since God has taken the initiative in “setting his heart in love” on the people of Israel (Deuteronomy 10:15) and answers our prayers to create in us a “clean heart” (Psalm 51:10).  Jesus affirms that to love God and neighbor with our whole heart, mind, soul and strength is the heart of the law (Luke 10:27).

Read the rest of this post at Alyce McKenzie's Expert Site at Patheos here.