Cleansing Hearts and the Hale Koa

Know how God cleanses your heart? By filling it with so much love that there’s no room for anything else. My boss came back this morning from a two week holiday in Hawaii. It’s been a blissful two weeks with him gone, though there’s no animosity about it. No respect, either. The situation the past couple of years has been such that any respect I had for him or for his service to the nation in the Navy dissipated. Completely.

 Now, let me preface the rest of the story by saying I prayed that this week my heart would be cleansed of anything God found displeasing, in preparation for resurrection Sunday, celebrating and honoring the gift of eternal life and joy that I have in Jesus Christ. The Jews do this in preparation for Passover, they clean their homes and their spirits, and I wanted to do the same. (Except for the home – my place isn’t going to get much cleaner between now and Sunday. If I were a Jew I’d have to go visiting for Passover….) I thought of pride, and bad language – the two things that come to mind when I think of my ungodly habits. I thought it would be good to get rid of that pride, and to clean up my language. God heard my prayer, but He had more than pride and cursing in mind.

 So, back to the story. My boss walks past my cube heading for the coffee pot, says “good morning.” I wait for him to say good morning or not – most times he says nothing in the morning, he’s very task-oriented and focused. “Good morning, welcome back,” I said, and asked if he’d had a good time. He proceeds to tell me about the trip—food, family, rest, restoration. He’d had a great time. While he’s talking my heart is filling with joy, and love, and affection. When we talked about the Hale Koa hotel and the military presence and the honor and respect we all give each other in places like the Hale, because we’ve served, my eyes welled with tears. “That honor and respect matters” I said, and I knew that I was suddenly talking to myself, and that God had begun to cleanse my heart by filling it with love so profound that bitterness and pride and everything but love and joy were no longer there. It was as if I saw him through God’s eyes, through the eyes of the Christ who died for us, and who lives for us now, pleading our case with the Father so that all will be well with our souls.

 When the tide of love has gone out, as it seems it must inevitably do, I’m praying it leaves a residual stain on my heart so I will be maybe one step closer to being like my Savior. This is, apparently, God’s answer to my prayer for a cleansed heart.

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