Tuesday, April 16, 2019 – Holy Week
It took David a long while to become curious about his own heart and ways. A lot of fighting and death, infidelity, lying and murder. Still he seemed darkly content to keep it all tucked away. Then along came a friend who knew the truth. With caution, he told David a story about a poor man with a cherished little lamb. One day, a rich neighbor had company, and rather than taking one from his own flock, he took the poor man’s treasured lamb and killed it. David was furious and judged that rich man worthy of death. Nathan then said David, “you are that man” (2 Samuel 12).
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting! Psalm 139:23-24
How much pain must we inflict and endure before we become curious about our own hearts? How much inner turmoil and relational tumult before we say – God, I’m curious about my heart? What’s going on in me? How am I hurting myself, others and you? Show me, change me, lead me to a better way – your way. It took David, a man anointed by God as King and rich beyond measure by today’s standards, a long time before he saw how dark, hidden and selfish his heart had become.
I resonate with David. I spent 40 years with little curiosity of my own heart. I gathered knowledge and wealth and even came to Christ and worshipped Him – but my willingness to explore my own heart was anemic. In hindsight, I can see that I was fearful. Fearful of what I’d find. Fearful of what I imagined I might lose. Fearful of knowing myself and being known to others. I was sure rejection would come if I explored my heart and let it be known. My fears blocked me from a deeper knowing of self and God. But a painful event demanded my curiosity; it moved me toward exploration and a deeper relationship with God. The love, acceptance, communion and joy I desperately wanted began flowing to me.
King David finally opened up through Nathan’s subtly piercing truth. He became curious and trusted God to search him and lead him in a way of everlasting life. That is a way of beauty, satisfaction, joy, love and deep, deep fellowship with God.
I am learning to engage in what I call compassionate curiosity – that is to see myself and others with love and a desire to know. It is as if you and I are works of art to be fondly appreciated. Not because we are perfect — We are broken. We are messy. We are fearful and sometimes hidden behind falseness. But we are also beautiful works in progress, works of art hidden behind years of dust and neglect. We become more beautiful, even glorious, the more we invite God’s gaze and risk Him drawing us out of hiding.
What if this Holy week you welcomed His gaze, invited His search and risked being compassionately curious about yourself and others? It may seem very risky, but as David experienced there is much to lose if we don’t and tremendous gain if we do. Will you take the risk to pray David’s prayer, be curious and invite God to unveil His art?