One of my favourite stock images, this heart was left on our step by a neighbour after a gift of homemade preserves. More recently, last summer, five year old Abel found beach pebbles eroded into a heart shape. Months later he discovered one of them and gave it to his mother, ‘because I love you, Mummy.’
A heart of stone, a heart of pebbles, to stand for a flesh and blood heart. This old Irish hymn, translated by Eleanor Hull expresses the mixed emotions of the poet contemplating his or her relationship with Jesus. For many of us life has been a toilsome path these last months, we may well request, ‘Peace on my head, light in my heart.’
Let’s pray for all whose lives continue to be toilsome. Even the dustiest, least frequented church is a sanctified temple; with Christ’s help any of us can be a temple sanctified to him, welcoming those who seek him.
How great the tale, that there should be, In God’s Son’s heart, a place for me! That on a sinner’s lips like mine The cross of Jesus Christ should shine! Christ Jesus, bend me to thy will, My feet to urge, my griefs to still; That e’en my flesh and blood may be A temple sanctified to Thee. No rest, no calm my soul may win, Because my body craves to sin; Till thou, dear Lord, thyself impart Peace on my head, light in my heart. May consecration come from far, Soft shining like the evening star. My toilsome path make plain to me, Until I come to rest in thee. Eleanor Hull From the Irish