By: Elizabeth Zenteno
How do you define a pure heart? I am not too sure if one could define it simply with words. As a child educator, I can say that I encounter purity of heart in my students. I have often had to step in to mediate a situation where two children are fighting over a toy. Within a matter of minutes of resolving the situation (though tears and sorry’s are involved) they are smiling and interacting again as if the fight had never happened. By allowing themselves to be transparent in their needs, they are allowing me to enter in and help meet those needs. They also help one another through their words or actions. I see purity in the way they run free without worries; in the way they show their emotions when they get upset; and even when they are engaged in an enthusiastic conversation with a stranger about their favorite book. Children allow themselves to feel and act on their emotions. It seems so simple but yet we struggle as adults to sometimes understand and embrace this form of vulnerability.
As adults, we have gone through our own personal tribulations some so painful and full of suffering that we slowly let those events change our hearts, and often not for the better.
We allow ourselves to be filled with resentment, anger, and pride. Some of us have experienced being let down by a loved one, which resulted in further closing their heart to avoid getting hurt again. We feel our defensive walls come up in fear of never being loved again. I know all of this to be true because I have experienced many of these situations and in not recognizing its impact on my life, I allowed it to subtly affect my heart. I found my refuge and newfound purity of heart in God.
It is in those moments when we feel most unlovable, shattered, or unredeemable that God invites us to renew our hearts. One way he invited me to renew my heart was through healing. Healing comes in order to help us mend our own view and belief about our own dignity as children of God, made in the image and likeness of God. God comes to us even in our fear and anger. He comes as a loving Father easing our fear of opening our hearts to an unconditional love that only He can give so that we too, may love others unconditionally. When we are able to forgive those, who have hurt us we can truly be free. Just as a child who continues playing happily with a playmate who has hurt him after he said sorry, we too are free to make peace and not allow hurt to ruin our perspective of the world.
All of our relationships with others and ourselves can be strengthened when we have the compassion and understanding necessary to accept the reality of humanities imperfections. Therefore, I can say that the root of having a pure heart is to love with a pure heart. One that God gives through His word and His promises, which can be embraced through prayer and reconciliation. The fruit of our Yes to Gods promise in our life is made manifest in simple charitable actions throughout our day. A pure heart will forever give kindness, empathy, and compassion to anyone who comes before us no matter how much or how little of it they themselves have given.
“Some of you are depressed by your struggle with sin…Consider this: The fact that you have a struggle is evidence that the Holy Spirit is motivating you to resist. The world has no struggle, they just indulge. But you have a fight because The Spirit of God is still working on you.” – AoC Network
“You obeyed the truth, and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart.” – 1 Peter 1:22