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A Note

Posted on June 7th, 2011

A couple of days ago, after the early service at Forefront, an older lady tapped my shoulder and said, “Justin, I have something for you.” (We had exchanged names earlier in the day but, before then, I had no idea who she was.) She handed me a folded piece of paper, bid me goodbye, and left.

I unfolded it and read this:

Justin you were fearfully and wonderfully made. You are loved unconditionally. Don’t give up on God. He won’t give up on you. He wants to love on you today in a special way. He is calling you by name. He knows your name. He knows everything about you and He still loves you. Be blessed this day.

A friend

This caused my brain to erupt. What makes her think that I was giving up on God? I’m not! Was it because I bent over in contemplation for a while? Did I not smile enough? Gee that was a nice thing of her to say. Does she write this kind of note to everyone every week? What was her name again? I wish I was better with names; she remembered mine.

It put me in a weird funk for a few hours; I was thinking hard about this and tried to unravel the mystery. (Not like the note was really that mysterious, but it baffled me.) Then I stopped. I let my brain off the hook and my heart took over, and that’s when I accepted the note for what it probably was: a random (albeit directed) act of kindness and encouragement.

Then my brain switched on again and I began to think about how many times I let my brain do all the doing while my heart just focused on pumping blood. I suppose that this is the way people are told to act; “think of the consequences”, “think before you ___”, and “think it through” are phrases used all the time. (This is probably to encourage people to act rationally which, I want to clarify, is usually a good thing.)

Are our hearts so untrustworthy? Part of the message on Sunday quoted Jeremiah, who wrote: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.” Ouch. But then there are phrases like “follow your heart” that encourage people to act based on their feelings; throw caution to the wind and don’t worry about the consequences, as long as it feels right.

Clearly, one cannot do without the other. The heart can prompt people to act in a certain way but the brain should kick in and think it through. My dad always advised me to do “everything in moderation.” I guess I should let my heart out a little; I’ve been keeping my emotions on a short leash. I feel that that will be better. I think.

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