Saturday, February 5, 2011

"She had a merry heart," he said...

"She had a merry heart," he said, and then, after a moment,

"She will add to the joy of the saints." - Mr. Edwards

"...And Ladies of the Club" by Helen Hooven Santmyer

The first time I read these words I lingered over them. And then they lingered with me. These brief lines describing a minor character in a book over 1,400 pages have lingered with me for nearly three years. Inspiring me. At last, changing me. offers these definitions for the word 'merry'

  • full of cheerfulness or gaiety; joyous in disposition or spirit
  • causing happiness; pleasant, delightful

"She had a merry heart."

I must be honest with you, I covet those words. This is why I read them over and over again, rather than turning the page. This is why they have lingered with me even after turning the page. Because I covet them.

I crave to be a woman full of cheer, joyous in disposition and spirit, causing happiness. I want desperately to be considered pleasant and delightful.

This is so much more than fun or carefree. Those words are only skindeep. I want a word that speaks to the essence of a person, perhaps even can describe a soul, not only a personality.

And it finally occurs to me, after three years of mulling over these words, how to get that which I covet so greatly. I've been laboring under the misconception that wanting these things is enough. That merely desiring to be merry would be enough to generate merriness within me. How many times have I foolishly and so densely believe this?

But slowly and surely just as the ocean can erode a rocky shore, the Spirit has eroded away the density which had built around my heart. Not my emotional heart but my spiritual heart. The heart which could contain and emit merriness. And now, as He's breaking through, I am understanding what it will take to get what I desire.

If it is ever to be said of me, "she had a merry heart", then I must allow Him to continue this erosion. The breaking through to my heart was not the end, but merely a means to an end. This has only been the first step in the remaking of my heart. Now the work will begin. And if I let Him shape and polish me He can create in me that merry heart. A heart which illuminates with joy and cheerfulness.

So this is my journey to have a merry heart. And this will be an expression of my heart--what I am learning, how I am changing, and that which I love. You can expect a variety of topics to be explored. Everything from the spiritual to the practical. Not evey post will be like this one--afterall, a heart can be expressed in so many ways--but this semed to demand a special introduction, a formal explanation. Or maybe I simply needed to put it in writing, a contract with myself.

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