Have you ever explored something very closely and intensely. It might be a flower, an insect, a soul.
Take for example a tree. Currently in my garden I have a plum tree absolutely laden down with plums that will be ripe in the next few weeks. I study this tree a lot, I am excited about the coming harvest.
The fruit is not the tree though. Looking past the fruit I see leaves, branches, bark, colours, moss, insects, cobwebs, droplets of water, small tiny insects that are barely visible to the naked eye. I pull out my magnifying glass and my exploration deepens. More is revealed.
All of this takes time and I become engrossed in the minute details of what makes up the tree.
The plums are the fruit of what the tree as a whole creative system develops out of itself.
Jesus talked about knowing the person by the fruit being produced.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? Matthew 7:15-16Fruit identifies the tree, what it inwardly is.
I was recently explored deeply and lovingly by someone.
They could see the fruit in front of them needed attention. So gently and carefully they explored my heart. They didn't have any fancy degrees, diplomas or certificates.
Mostly they were silent, and when they did speak it was to ask gentle questions and to offer reassurances. A gentle unheard prayer was lovingly offered throughout.
My heart was warmly explored and held.
The other person didn't push their way into my heart, hacking and slashing, revealing and ripping away my secrets in one fell swoop. Instead they were intrigued and curious about whom I am.
How do we explore another's heart?
- Stop. You need to pause in the busyness of life and with an air of unhurried leisure engage with the heart
- Listen. Take note of the words spoken and unspoken. The gestures, the body movements, the voice. Listen to everything.
- Ask questions. You may want to know some more, to understand further. So you ask gentle exploring questions.
- Don't give answers, problem solve or pray - at this moment. We so quickly want to solve this person’s problem, it will make us feel better to do so. Resist this at all costs. You need to allow the real issue of the heart to come to the surface at its own pace.
- Invite Spirit to the dance. To have Spirit come and dance between you and the other is wonderful. We are not alone, Spirit speaks to both of our heart’s. Some potential is being released between the two that transforms the situation.
Image: ruurmo Creative Commons Flickr
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