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I create to share the music within my soul.



Whatever song has been placed in your heart, may you sing it boldly and beautifully!

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord.
Psalm 95:1

“Nail that sucker open if you have to!”  She is speaking of the door to my heart.  Not only literally, but figuratively.  My assignment is to create a box to express what is means to open my heart, allowing my true light to shine.  I look at the boxes on the table in front of me:  a striped Stride Rite shoe box,  an old wooden cigar box, and two or three worn heart-shaped boxes, once bearing Valentine chocolates.  Nothing really grabs me, but I bring home the cigar box along with the supplies for several other projects on my list.  I figure the inspiration will come eventually.  And, if it doesn’t, I’ll have to dive-in, regardless.

Often, some of my best ideas come to me in the middle of the night, when I am trying to sleep.  And fortunately, I wake-up at my usual 2:30 in the morning with the words to an old Micheal W. Smith song, “Open the Eyes of My Heart,” running through my head.  Open the eyes of my heart, Lord.  Open the eyes of my heart.  I want to see you.  I want to see you.  That’s it!  I need to open the eyes of my heart in order to truly see you, God!  If I want to see my true self, I need to see You more clearly.

I e-mail my art teacher the next morning.  “Can you set that heart-box aside for me?  I need to cut a door in it.”

The outside of my box comes easily, as this is the part of my heart that I am comfortable sharing with the outside world.  A few images from an old book.  Some tissue paper.  One or two embellishments.  Simple grace with just a bit of reserve.  But the inside of my box?  If only you knew how many layers!  Turquoise paint. Scrapbook paper. More paint. Gel Medium. Fabric. Gesso. Wax. Oil pastels.  An old quilt piece.  My grandmother’s vintage jewelry.  A sprinkling of glitter.  This project is long and messy.  Sometimes, it even feels a bit scary.  What if I try something and it is a big mistake?  A mistake that’s hard to fix?

Just like my heart-box, the transformation of our hearts is not a simple process.  Layers have to be sifted-through and deciphered.  Expectations.  Fears.  Wounds.  Some layers we choose to keep.  These layers feel right.  And some we choose to alter into something more beautiful, better able to reflect God’s spirit.   As a result of this sifting, deciphering, and altering, though, we end-up with a whole heart.  A soft heart.  A heart full of grace, compassion, and movement.  A heart radiating  God’s beauty.  Our beauty.

She tells me that I have places in my heart that are in need of healing.  Wounded areas that are keeping me stuck.   I consider myself to be a fairly introspective person, and at the same time, I am aware that in the messiness of my own life, it’s difficult to be objective sometimes.  Certain portions of my heart, those  areas where dysfunctional ways of thinking  have worn deep grooves, may well require a little more care.  I long to live with a whole heart, not just a chosen portion, but a full, thriving heart. I am advised to regularly practice forgiving and releasing old hurts, allowing God to restore those still wounded pieces of my spirit.  She also suggests the heart-healing properties of rose quartz.

Now, I do not know a lot about holistic healing, but figure I can’t do any harm in purchasing some quartz.  This is how I find myself standing at the counter of a curious little rock shop, sifting through a plastic bin of  pink quartz gemstones in a variety of shapes and sizes.  Most pieces are smooth and shiny, shaped in the form of tear drop pendants or small round beads for creating necklaces and bracelets.  I have a hard time selecting a piece for myself, as I’m not even sure what I am supposed to do with the quartz once I bring it home.  Wear it?  Carry it in my pocket? Set it on my kitchen windowsill? I guess the rock shop owner senses my quandary when he suggests that he can just chip a piece off of a larger stone, if I’d rather have a rough piece.  I take him up on this offer and a few minutes later, he returns with a small lump of rose quartz, jagged and yet still beautiful in its soft pink color.

Several days later, I carry the quartz with me to my art session.  When I tell her how the shop owner chopped a piece off just for me, she laughs, saying, “Now, isn’t that symbolic?”  I didn’t get the truth to her comment at the time, but soon after my session, the words to Janice Joplin’s song “Piece of My Heart” start running through my head. Take another little piece of my heart now, baby!   The shop owner chipped that chunk of quartz off its larger self just like I am designating the injured portions of my own heart for healing!

Some mornings, I take my pink quartz along with me in my jean’s pocket, jagged edges and all.  Other days, I leave it sitting on my bedside table and give it a glance or two before going to sleep at night.  If nothing else, I appreciate having this visual and tangible reminder that I have placed the wounded areas of my heart into God’s hands, trusting that He will guide me in the healing process.  And so, I ask you, do you ever feel like you are stuck?  Like you get to a certain place in your life and you just can’t move forward?  Perhaps you might want take a little piece of your heart and offer it to God for His healing.  Allow God to smooth down those rough edges and restore your heart in the way that only He can do.

*photo:  courtesy of google images


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