My heart shrugs.
If hope is a stirring that makes the heart look forward to another day, then apathy must be hope’s kryptonite.
Maybe it’s fatigue, or the onset of fall, or the fact that my refrigerator smells like death and I can’t find the source of the stank, but I’ve discovered that resiliency is over-rated. It’s hard to keep waking up every morning waiting on the “break through.” I’m exhausted from waiting in line, wondering if today will be the day my number is called. I want to muster some anger to scream, “Hey! Over here! I won’t be ignored. I will be heard!” It’s easier to shrug, shuffling along, away from so much suffocating expectation.
I determine I’m not hungry and I just won’t open the door. I won’t smell the dense accumulation of disappointment…again.
Some time ago I had one of those eyes wide awake moments. I realized I don’t pray for myself. I saw that I had all kinds of faith and persistency in prayer for others, but I didn’t extend that fervency to myself. Yet, I kept running across the word “ask” in my Scripture reading. Clearly I had some mixed up ideas about how God would perceive my personal requests. Truth be told, I’m apt to believe God is Willy Wonka and he’s going to turn me into a giant blueberry if I ask for too much. It’s a little embarrassing to confess I didn’t want to be demanding for fear of the Oompa Loompas.
I worked to change this. There was a season of seeking, but now the leaves are falling, and my heart is shrugging. I’ve asked over and over again and there has been no answer. I shrug and resign myself to the winter ahead. “It’s okay, Lord. I know you’re busy. Sorry to have bothered you.”
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him! ~Matthew 7:7-11
I hear, “Keep on asking. Keep seeking. Keep knocking. Don’t give up. Believe–wildly and passionately.”
The shrug in my heart feels the tiniest stirring, enough to ask again and to seek my Father’s heart that I know is good toward me. One leaf of apathy falls away; a seasonally resilient bud of hope forces its way up through the hardened dirt, insistent on finding life. Already there is receiving. There is a moment of finding and being found. The knocking at the door persists. Be still, my little shrugging heart.