The question ‘what is on your heart?’ is another lovely opening question I might use at the beginning of a spiritual direction session or a pastoral conversation. It is an invitation to explore longing, frustration, sadness, joy, gratitude, hopes, aspirations…whatever it is our current experience is.
If I were to answer it, at this point in time, I’d probably say a few things.
1. I have a deep desire that the church I’m part of would increase its pursuit of the transformative presence of God…that we’d go deeper into worship, prayer, engagement with scripture, and deeper into experience of an authentic loving community. We’re in something of a transition period and it’s these things that will help us navigate.
2. I have a deep longing to see ‘boots on the streets’ of our town as we head out in mission. Jackie Pullinger often says we Christians have hard hearts and soft feet when we should really have softened hearts to the need of the world for Jesus, and hard feet shod with ‘gospel shoes’ that will mean we’ll go anywhere for him. I want to see us turn ourselves inside out for the cause of Christ, the gospel and the coming Kingdom.
3. I have a deep longing for joy, freedom, release, fullness, wholeness, ‘shalom’ in myself, my faith community, and in Hertford.
4. I’m longing to put down roots for a season. Hertford isn’t Scotland, it isn’t even ‘north’, but it’s the first time for a long time that I’ve really sensed such a ‘rightness’ about where I am. But I battle daily with ‘being a stranger in a strange land’ and a longing for ‘home’. It’s all we Scots ever write songs about!
5. Finally, I want to fan into flame a passion for discipleship and disciple-making (more than just evangelism), and see lives changed. Kinda said that above, but this is much more about making the main thing the main thing. And I’m the process, begin to work out with people how we deal with the hard stuff, the challenges, and the social and moral issues our communities have to navigate – all a key part of figuring or faith in the world.
What is on your heart?