Fri, Dec 16th

By: Maggie Leonard

James 5.7-10

Reflection—v. 8, ‘strengthen your hearts’

What an odd thing to say—why does Paul so infrequently tell us how to do the things he asks of us? We can’t very well flex our hearts and pump iron. I think that strengthening our hearts means to practice being more mindful to the emotions that dwell in our heartspace. In prayer time, we practice taking time to check-in with ourselves, to notice what is stirring within us, and to allow ourselves to feel the sensation of that feeling in our bodies. The more we are able to practice sitting with our emotions, the more able we are to feel stronger emotions without reacting to them hastily or trying to push them away. To do that work of strengthening requires us to take time away from distractions and to develop the resolve not to give into our compulsions—to check our phones, or get something out of our bags, or adjust the thermostat, or wait until it’s perfectly quiet. It’s a process, but as our hearts strengthen, so does our resolve and sense of self.

Prayer Heart of our hearts, help us to turn to you, that we may become stronger and healthier and emotionally more mature and better able to do your work.