Humility = An Open Heart

Humility = You may know me – my heart is open to you.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 – But let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me… (that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice, and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things).

God not only allows us to know Him, but He longs for us to understand and know who He is. Think about it. How deep is your own desire to “be known”… to “be understood?” I have realized in myself that this is one of my deepest desires… to know and to be known. I so want to be understood, don’t you? I want someone to take the time to see who I am…  to ‘get me’… to understand what I’m like… and, of course, like what they come to know… to think it’s special, worth a lot, worth pursuing, spending effort on, spend time with what is discovered, as if it is precious to the beholder… as if “I” am precious, worth cherishing, worth knowing. And when someone is willing to even cost  themselves to understand me… wow, that says it all – I am LOVED.

I know this is uniquely true of feminine nature… but I am aware that this is truly the deepest desire of all human beings. It’s just what we, as women, bring to the table and have to offer in a particular way. We are the “pursuee”… men are the “pursuer.” It’s costly on both ends: for us, to stay open and vulnerable to the hope of being pursued and understood… and for men to pursue a treasure they desire without knowing the outcome ~ and most often not understanding the thing they seek. (My husband claims “Women are a vat… of endless wonder.” He has a very curious mind that longs to learn what he does not yet understand, but he claims I have given him a run for his money. I know some days he feels like giving up his pursuit.)

The key is: this desire in us comes from God Himself. He longs to be understood and known. It is part of us carrying His image – to be and stay open and longing for someone to know and “get” who we are.

I saw it in my new grandson yesterday. He, being fresh from Heaven, is unabashedly humble: open to love, open to being known. Just 9 days old, his eyes are bright, and I am sure he smiled at me as I cooed at him and told him how much I adored him.

We are drawn to this open-heartedness like flies to fly paper. It reminds us of who we most deeply are. We each, too, arrived, a fresh gift from Heaven, equipped to be known and to know. It is only later that we shut down or became closed because the response of some in our world didn’t understand us or care enough to take the time to know and delight in who we were. Pricked by rejection, one of Satan’s favorite schemes against us, a root of shame grew into a tree that began to shade the doorway to our heart and eventually may have attempted to hide the passageway altogether. Our humble openness became instead a guarded pathway emitting messages like “Don’t come near”… “No visitors welcome here”… or simply “Go away!”. Sadly, when we experience rejection, we usually become the rejector ~ and we as well as others miss the wonderful gift of knowing and getting to know. Thus, “sins against love” are perpetuated.

Humility is to be willing to be known. A humble heart is a heart that is open – that says “You may come in; you may know who I am. I am open to ‘you’.” All our self protection is simply pride. Pride has closed itself to others. It needs no input. It says, “Who cares if you love me – I need no one. You have nothing important to offer me. I have projected my wounds onto the human race – no one will love me well enough, including you, so go away. You are as terrible as the one who hurt me before. I am that important – no one may touch me or wound me again.” In the prison of pride, we rail against the barricades we have erected around ourselves. To be set free is to face our deepest fear – rejection – and open once again to love, to “‘being known.”

And God, in His kind wisdom says: boast in this – that you are one who is able to be in relationship. You are willing to know and understand another – so they can also enter into relationship with you. To be open to love, yielded, receptive to the value of input from someone beside yourself – this is the true essence of humility and also the true essence of love.

No wonder we go ga-ga over new babies… and when a child is in the room, we watch them like a mesmerizing fire. We are fascinated with the sheer openness they exude – and we have lost, long ago.

Oh Savior, save me.
Heal my heart of its wounds that have made me recoil from the very love I long for. I hide inside, unwilling to try again to know anyone else. I have given up and imprisoned my own self from opening to be known – and I am dying inside as a result. I forgive the ones who hurt me so. Forgive me for responding and nursing my grudges and building my barricades. Strengthen me to know that my desire to be understood and known is from You and is inherently good. Help me to emerge, with Your help, and attach to righteous desire once again – the desire for love. I am cold and lonely without it.

Thank you for being humble in heart. Thank you for being open to me – open to being known. You encourage me to come to You confidently and boldly. As I know You, I will be known in return and understand that I am loved.

What a blessed inheritance is mine: To know God – and be known by Him. To know other people – and be known by them. I choose love. I choose to open my heart to others. I choose to recognize in others that this is their need and desire as well. I forsake self protection that puts my needs before another’s and blocks the way to love. I am sorry for how much I, in my hurt, have hurt others.

Oh, Jesus, forgive our sins against love – and teach us to love. I choose to come into your heart today – with a desire to understand and know You. Thank You that the way to love is always open. It’s Your heart. A heart of lovingkindness, justice and righteousness. I come. Can I stay and mend awhile? So I can leave to love others better, having known and experienced the very source of love.

What a blessed inheritance.
I love you.
Amen.