All the craziness in the world boils down to the desire of the heart which, if you dig down deep, is tied to the search for love, happiness and comfort – both here on earth and in the hoped-for life after death, when decayed bones rise to unite with revived rotten flesh.
So, in a continuous stampede to secure affection now, and guarantee a posthumous pleasure in the future, we run after one another, and like a rooster on the chase of an elusive hen, come back empty-handed.
But how is it that in a universe full of abundance people lack love, happiness and comfort? Where did love go? Two thousand years ago, the earth was filled to capacity with miracles. What happened?
In one Bible narrative, a particular woman suffered public humiliation because her bleeding wouldn’t stop for months and then years. After 12 years, as Jesus passed by one day the woman said to herself, ‘If I could touch his garment I will be healed.’ And she reached out to touch the corner of his clothes and was healed of her blood loss.
Through the miracle of the bleeding woman, Jesus showed how barriers could crumble and doors open when conviction is coupled with sincerity of mind. The woman knew no self-doubt. Doubts would have instructed her to change her clothes, put on a new hair scarf and a pancake on her face before camping out for Jesus.
What if the hemorrhaging woman had, like people do nowadays, analyzed Jesus before she met him, had a patch of distrust sowed at the corner of her heart or had totally dismissed him as an itinerant preacher, the poor son of a carpenter?
Faith and belief was what the woman had going for her. Cynicism and doubt blocks the mind from accessing the blessings of the universe. How many times have we, because of cynicism or suspicion, walked past an angel of salvation deliberately waiting, with wings spread?
There are folks whose entire life centers on maligning their fellow-men and women. They harbor an attitude in which only weeds will grow. They make wrong judgments on people around them, including those barely known to them – cutting people down to size because of the way they walk, where they live, how they talk, who their parents are, the shoes they wear and the style of their hair.
It is difficult to resist comparing the woman’s approach to that of the tax collector, a short man by the name of Zacchaeus, who climbed a sycamore tree in order to see Jesus. ‘You didn’t have to go that length,’ Jesus admonished Zacchaeus; ‘today I am going to your house.’
Sometimes we think that to succeed we need to do extraordinary things. Like use long words to communicate, pray for days that God will hear us, jump great heights to reach our goal, bend over backwards to be loved, cry out loud to get attention or travel vast distances to have a breakthrough.
No, we don’t.
Is a grandmother who dances gingerly, placing the right leg to the right and the left leg to the left, any less compelling than a break dancer who jumps three feet into the air, back pedals and spins on ten toes?
Simplicity rather than severity is the key to the matters of the heart and mind. Smiles have ended wars between foes. One respectful bow has swayed kings into giving out daughters in marriage.
On one side of my office wall is a 12 by 18 inch poster made by my son when he was six years old. In the middle of the poster are these words, ‘I love my dad because he is my best friend.’ My heart leaps each time I read those words. No gift can bring such joy – not a football-field sized yacht, not a mansion and not a Corvette.
In 2017, try to let go of the usual scapegoats in your life upon which everybody chooses to hang their faults. Quit blaming parents, teachers, friends and relatives, and take time to examine yourself instead. Not an easy task, but it gets easier with determination. Untie tangles of cynicism and malice from the mind. Make room for a new beginning, where flowers of love, streams of happiness and provisions of comfort can bloom in abundance.