Cold as stone and hard as a rock. Others cannot break it with their bare hands. No words can penetrate to its core. No image placed before it can soften it. It is made of stone after all. Only tools can break through and only two people can use them.
The heart of stone can weigh heavily in the chest. It holds no compassion, nor empathy. It cares not for what occurs around it and cannot be bothered by those who seek it’s help. It is focused only on what it wants and what it craves. It takes but never gives, for it has shut off itself from others. It throws up a wall around itself and hardens those walls against everything selfless that comes its way. Thankfully, the Lord is one of the two who can help us remedy this when it is ourselves who suffer from it.
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”Ezekiel 36:26
Like the potter that He is, God will hollow out the heart of stone, fill it with love, wait for it to form a heart of flesh, and then break the mold. He’ll smooth out the edges and polish it, letting it shine. God is the best teacher to show us how to love, how to have compassion, and how to empathize with the hurting. He not only calls us to be warriors but caregivers.
- Caregiver — (noun)
a family member or paid helper who regularly looks after a child or a sick, elderly, or disabled person. (Bing definition)
We are the second person who can wield the tools to break through our stony heart. To entertain selfish reasons and hold onto them with death grips during opportunities to be selfless, we harden our hearts. When we release that grip and let fall our selfish reasons, then we allow God to give us a heart of flesh. When it comes to being a caregiver, we aren’t the paid helper. We are the family member who does whatever needs to be done to help the ones we love. We are called to regularly look after our family, whether spiritual or blood.
Jesus cares for us everyday. He looks after us under emotional stress, heals our bodies of sickness, and mends the wounds on our souls. He knows when we’re stressed, angry, on the verge of tears, happy, joyful, excited, and all the other things we deal with. He is right there, making sure we are cared for every minute of every day whether we acknowledge His presence or not. While we can’t be there every minute of every day for our loved ones, we still need to check in on them to ensure they’re okay, to let them unload their burdens if need be, or — if they’re still lost — to give them a small portion of the Lord’s truth until they’re ready to dive into His loving embrace.
There are times, of course, where we have to deal with those who have their own stony hearts. It’s tough; it feels like a battle to be around someone who is constantly negative, intimidating, or has cold tendencies. However, we must recall we were once like them. Yet, Jesus never gave up on us. It’s hard, it’s difficult, it wears us out, but we must continue to shine the Lord’s light and love on them as long as it takes. Because, for some, they will eventually see what you’ve been telling them all along.
“I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh. Then they will follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws. They will be my people, and I will be their God.”Ezekiel 11:19-20
Do not lose hope and so harden your heart against the lost who try to hurt you at every turn. We are a shining city atop a hill and their eyes — so used to the darkness — take time to adjust to the light. At first, that light will hurt them. But if they’re willing to continue to step toward it, they’re eyes will adjust and they will begin to see the love Jesus is shining through you. Study God’s word and write His scriptures upon your hearts. It is there His love thrives.
“You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”2 Corinthians 3:3