The Eye of the Heart
Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts. (Psalm 95:7)
Oh no, I thought to myself, as Patrick again spoke up in a disruptive way. Is he going to walk out on us? Will he take his friends with him?
Our workshop had been taking place in a beautiful setting, not far from the Rocky Mountains, in a lodge called Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. The isolated building was on a lake with beauty all around, but there seemed to be trouble brewing among the twelve, mostly Native men, taking our intense workshop on healing from past wounds. We were not sure what would happen.
Patrick seemed to be influencing other men in a negative way, and I wondered if we should ask him to leave. He was either sleeping, pretending to sleep, or just being plain rude with his questions about our presentations.
But by the grace of God, Patrick hung in there, and we hung in with him. As Patrick began to share his story, we started to understand how deep his wounds were. As a residential school survivor, he had been through so much. His heart had been hardened in so many different ways, it could no longer see God.
Saint Augustine insisted, “the whole business in this life is to restore to health the eye of the heart whereby God may be seen.” Slowly, the “eyes” of Patrick’s heart began to open, and God began to heal his heart. By the end of the retreat, Patrick was a different man. We found out later, Patrick came to faith in Jesus Christ and went on to lead his own men’s groups. What a miracle his life became!
Recently, Linda and I received news that Patrick had passed away. We grieve his passing but rejoice in the legacy he left. Patrick found his heart again and went on to help others find theirs.
Is it time for you to reflect on how your own heart may have been wounded? If you have not already, ask God to “restore to health the eye of your heart” so completely that you can see Him more fully and live the life he has for you.
Dear Lord, thank you for being the true healer. Thank you for the way you have created my heart to be satisfied in you alone. Lord, I ask you to heal my heart so I can see you more clearly than I ever have before and live the life you desire me to have. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.