Anne Lamott tells the story of a Hasidic rabbi who told his people that if they studied the Torah it would put the word of God on their hearts. After some time, one of them asked, “Rabbi, why on our hearts, and not in them?” The rabbi answered, “Only God can put the word inside your heart. But studying God’s word can put it on your heart, so that then when your heart breaks, the holy words will fall inside.”
The question, of course, is not if our heart will break, but when. The gift of Scripture is that the hard-won testimony of God’s deliverance and compassion and deep, deep tenderness is given to us while our hearts are still intact. Faith is choosing to claim the story as our own before we learn just how true it is.
But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. No longer shall they teach one another, or say to each other, “Know the LORD,” for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, says the LORD, for I will forgive their iniquity, and remember their sin no more. (vv. 33-34)
Source: Anne Lamott, Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith (New York: Penguin Publishing Group, 2006), 73.
When did you last hear the melody of resurrection?
Put your word upon my heart this day, O God. Amen.