YOU AND I: PERSONAL PLACES OF THE HEART
My mom has lived in the same house for over 60 years. Her home has become a deeply treasured Place of the Heart. I have already moved eight times in my adult life, so I have less of an attachment to any of the houses in which I have lived. Each time I move, I notice that once the house is emptied of pictures, mementoes, and furnishings, it is no longer “home.” The house is the shell. The love and the moments shared within our homes are what make them places of the heart. The love is in the contents, not the container.
I find it interesting that Jesus didn’t seem to have a place to call home. He was born in a manger; the gospels often depict him walking the countryside. In Luke 9, Jesus says, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head” (verse 58). His Places of the Heart may have been the homes of friends (especially Mary, Martha, and Lazarus), the quiet hillside spaces to pray, the boats on the Sea, and even the olive grove in Gethsemane.
Light the Prophecy and Bethlehem Candles.
Psalm 51:10 (NRSV)
Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and put a new and right spirit within me.
Matthew 6:19-21 (NRSV)
Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Proverbs 4:23 (NRSV)
Keep your heart with all vigilance,
for from it flow the springs of life.
Our Places of the Heart are the places where Love dwells. Yes, maybe these places are our own homes, but they could also be our churches, communities, friendships, groups, vacation spots, retreat centers, quiet spaces, closets, gardens, porches, libraries, restaurants, offices, and schools. Most of all, our most intimate and personal Place of the Heart is our soul- and this is the place where Christ lives, the place where love shines, the place where love is poured in and shared out. This inner Place of the Heart remains with us and guides us in perfect love- wherever we go.
Prayer: Jesus, you may not have had a place to lay your head, but please make our hearts a welcoming and permanent place for you and your love. Amen.