I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, Ezekiel 11:19
My sister Susan Lea had the most soulful brown eyes. She was a quiet baby with such decorum that my father declared she had been ordered from the Sears Roebuck catalogue which was the Amazon.com of its day. She was a baby ordered “special” as my mother has often said. We have good memories of her that we continue to cherish. One thing I remember is a unique choice she made that now has great significance for me. When she got engaged to my brother-in-law Ken, she chose a heart-shaped diamond for her engagement ring. It was a surprising choice to me. Susan was very loving, but often met the world’s challenges with a tough exterior. It amazed me that she had such a romantic streak and essentially chose to wear her heart on her sleeve. When I think about Susan, I marvel at how utterly full of love she was. The many facets of her life are still cherished and far outshine that diamond.
Our physical hearts aren’t actually heart shaped, but we use that symbol to convey the love we have inside. My sister’s beautiful ring was sparkling with her love for her fiancé. Hearts are, in fact, one of the most sought after diamond shapes, even though they present the greatest challenges to the cutter. It reminds me of how God is working to shape our hearts. Only a very skilled cutter can take a rough diamond and create a flawless heart-shaped diamond. God took a shepherd boy and made him a king. God took an orphan girl with no future and made her a queen. King David and Queen Esther illustrate God’s ability to shape hearts for the purpose of greater love and generous lives. A heart given to God lets go of the old rough diamond in favor of the new creation God has envisioned for us to be. Perhaps the point of this Lenten journey is to place our heart in God’s hands who will shape it to shine with love.