When I was in school, I played the viola.  (The viola is shaped like a violin with a deeper sound.)  When you’re first starting out playing the viola you pluck the strings quite a bit, to get used to the sound of the instrument.  Plucking the viola for hours on end got very painful until something wonderful happened.  My fingers developed calluses on the ends to protect my skin.  Calluses made for 3503360299_edeb108283less painful viola-plucking.  Over time though, I noticed something.  Calluses meant less pain.  Calluses also meant less feeling.  I noticed that the tips of my fingers couldn’t feel the softness of the old quilt on my bed, or the silky satin of my doll’s dress.  In fact, I had lost much of the sensation on the tips of my fingers.

Some people have calluses over their hearts.  They have been hurt often, so a callus has developed around their heart to protect them from pain.  But, just like my fingers, there’s a cost to a callus.  A callus on the heart leaves out so much of the emotions of life.  Life is messy and emotional.  The loss of a loved one can leave us devastated and broken.  The birth of a child brings feelings of awe and wonder.  The smile on the face of that same child brings such tremendous joy.  To this very day the sight of my children’s sleeping faces brings such feelings of love that I am almost tearful.  The sight of my husband walking up the drive after a hard day brings on such relief.

We are creatures of emotion.  God created us that way on purpose.  To love Him with “all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind.”  (Matt. 22:37)  We were intended to love with all our heart.  We were not intended to protect ourselves with calluses.  Instead, we should lean on the one who created that very heart:  ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. ‘(Proverbs 3:5)  God is big enough to handle our emotions.  I have gone to Him broken and lost.  I have cried out sorrow and anger and pain.  I do it often.  Live life to the fullest.  Experience as much of it as you can with your whole, entire heart.  And if it gets broken, then take it to the Healer…

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