Hometown

The heart’s intent

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Jim Honeycutt

Chaplain-Baptist Minister

When I was a kid growing up in the 1960’s and 70’s in the small rural town of Mart, Texas, the world seemed wide open. Most homes and churches were never locked, neighbors knew each other and took time to visit and talk. What one mother found out about her kids’ friends all mothers would soon know about.

Curtains were only closed at night. Life seemed slower and freedoms more in hand. We were allowed to ride our bikes without worry or fear as we explored the same streets day after day in the summer. (Little did we realize the extent of the covert communications systems our mother’s employed.)

I remember well that I could go nearly anywhere in town, with a few places off limits. And even though I knew where I shouldn’t go, Mom had me tell her before I left the house the places I was going. Even without an apple air tag, my Mom could triangulate my whereabouts at any time using the MCS (Mom Communication System). I might say I was going to Joey’s and pass a backyard baseball game on the way. Being as it was on the way I felt that I wasn’t misleading Mom, because, I was still going to Joey’s, it just might take me longer than usual, well upon her follow up call to Joey’s Mom to ask if I had arrived and to give me a message, then finding out I wasn’t there.

It took her very little time to be on the phone with the Mom whose son I was playing baseball with. My Mom’s message to me as spoken by my friend’s Mom out the back porch screen door was short and direct. “Jimmy, your Mom say’s Go Home.”

Upon arriving at home completely dumbfounded that I would be in trouble, or I had done something to make her mad. I discovered, she wasn’t upset because I wanted to stop and play baseball. She wasn’t upset because I didn’t go straight to Joey’s. She wasn’t even upset because of whose house I had stopped at along the way. She was upset because I knew what she expected. To do what I said I was going to do.

And if I changed my mind to inform her, I could have asked my friend’s Mom to use the phone. I could have ridden the two minutes back to my house and told her. I did neither and in her words she voiced her concern, “Son why do you make me chase you down?” I thought at the time her being upset was a form of trying to control me. Now I see it clearly for what it was, LOVE. She may not have always had my ear when she said it, but her actions speak the volumes of demonstrative deep felt love she showered upon me. She was helping me to learn how to share my intent. To be open and honest with her. She was also teaching me to judge other’s words by their actions. That actions speak the hearts true intent.

In my relationship with my Heavenly Father I have learned, He is able to understand beyond my words and directly into my intentions without my actions being played out. In fact, in the Book of Hebrew in The New Testament I find this passage. For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account. 

So, when the world is encouraging me to just follow my heart and everything will be hunky dory. I need to realize it’s a lie! I need in reality to follow God’s word, not my deceiving heart. For in The Old Testament, Jeremiah states, the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? So, I ask, who can understand it? Who can understand it, not anyone I’ve ever met, well no mortal I’ve had the pleasure or displeasure of meeting. But as the writer of Hebrew states so pointedly, God can! He can absolutely judge your heart by His words. In fact, they are judging you and me, even as I write this and you read it. 

Why do you make me chase you Son, so often The Lord has said to me. So often has the intent of my heart not been followed by Godly actions. But the same word that judges my heart will clean and heal its sickness.

His words can take my heart of stone and make it a heart of flesh. By His Grace and through His Love He teaches my heart to abide in His intent. Let us stop being led by ourselves with deceiving hearts and look to The Author of Life who holds us in His hand, who heals our hearts.

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