One evening when my kids were little, I was flipping through TV stations and landed on a Christian channel. I got called away and left the TV on, thinking I’d be right back.By the time I returned, the program had switched to something new. My daughter was in the room frantically scribbling numbers onto a piece of paper, almost breaking down in tears.”What are you doing?” I asked.”I’m writing down the number on the screen!” she exclaimed. “It says ‘Call now because the children need your help!’ but I can’t write the numbers down fast enough.”I saw the over-sized numbers “1800” printed on the page, the next number scribbled out and replaced with another.”I can help you write them all down,” I offered.She handed me the pen and paper, hands shaking. “Quick! We have to call now!””It’s not that urgent,” I assured her.”Yes, it is—look at the children! “I was well acquainted with footage of starving children with distended tummies, flies buzzing around their eyes.I had grown old; my heart, calloused.But it was the first time my daughter had ever seen the need, and her first instinct was to respond. To give.My daughter was young; her heart, open.How are we to respond with the same kind of heartache that Jesus feels when He, too, sees children with distended tummies—and then sees me, sitting on my bed, casually flipping TV channels?How are old, hardened, calloused hearts re-sensitized?Jason of Connecting to Impact is hosting a book club discussion of The Hole in the Gospel by Richard Stearns. I’m not reading the book, but Jason’s post “What Demands Response for You?” brought back the memory of watching that program with my daughter…and got me thinking.Jason wrote:
As we begin to see [God’s] greatness and goodness, His love and grace–we must respond. There are many different triggers for each of us to open our eyes, but this is what God desires. He wants us to see Him and then we have an appropriate response for the world’s brokenness…guilty consciences are not going to sustain our giving and loving. We have to have changed hearts.
I may be old. My heart may even be calloused.But I have hope, knowing what God can do with old hearts:
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)