What are you doing with all those rocks?

When we added on to our home, I had originally hoped for a covered front porch that would say, “Welcome … stay a while.” The contractor pointed out our low-hanging eaves and that our entry was already dark. “A covered porch would make it even darker,” he said.

So he and his crew got creative, and the result is an entry with pergola and pavers that give the impression of a front porch while still letting in the light.

Dan and I rummaged through nurseries, borrowed plants from other places on the property, and I commandeered an Adirondack chair from the backyard. We hope the entry calls out, “Welcome!”

I think this is what God wants us to do with our lives—to lay an inviting pathway to our heart’s front door.

All too often, though, when we experience disappointment, non-inclusion, or outright rejection, our natural response is to start collecting and stacking rocks as a protective measure from further heart pain.

But constructing rock walls doesn’t protect us. It imprisons us. It shuts out love and joy.

There’s an ancient proverb that goes like this:

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. – Proverbs 4:23

Guard. Natsar. It’s Hebrew, and it means, “to protect, to guard, maintain, preserve from dangers.”

There’s a difference between guarding our hearts from danger and guarding our hearts from love and people and life experiences.

We weren’t designed to build walls to keep people out. We were meant to invite people in, trusting God with that precarious endeavor. We’re meant for relationship, for intimacy with each other and with our Creator. Keeping ourselves to ourselves does not invite intimacy.

Hearts were designed for risky living, not guarded living. And you better believe it will be painful from time to time.

But closed-hearted living is no living at all.

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14 Comments

  1. Dorothy Ipock

    Thank you Marlys for the reminder. It is so easy to pile the rocks and hide behind them.

  2. Julia Steuart

    We can love those who reject us and set healthy boundaries concerning those who continuously sabotage your love for them!! Or attempt to reoffend after you have forgiven and trusted God to believe to heal and deliver the offender!! When it becomes offensive and habitual setting boundaries of close contact becomes crucial to maintaining self preservation and healthy mental and emotional well being!!

  3. What a beautiful message, and a beautifully welcoming entry, Marlys!!

  4. What a lovely home entrance. It felt inviting to me.

  5. Allison

    “Closed-hearted living is no living at all.” Thank you for this wonderful reminder. Learning to trust God with all the rocky hard places in our lives helps us build faith. And our faith allows us to deepen our relationship with God and others.

    Thank you my friend.

  6. Thanks Marlys for this poignant message.

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